The District Court of Rukum (West) has remanded 23 people in judicial custody for trail on various charges over their involvement in the killing of six Dalit youths in Soti.

At a preliminary hearing, a single bench of Judge Bidhyaraj Paudel on issued the order yesterday.

Chairman of Ward No 8 of Chaurjahari Municipality Dambar Bahadur Malla is among the 23 remanded in custody.

The dead bodies of six Dalit youths in Chaurjahari, Soti of Rukum (West) were recovered from the Bheri River after they were allegedly attacked and chased by a group of villagers on May 23.

The incident occurred when a group of 18 youths had gone to Soti to help their friend Nabaraj Biswokarma, 21, of Bheri Municipality in Jajarkot district, elope with a so called ‘higher caste’ girl from Soti village.

The group was, however, was allegedly severely beaten and chased by Soti locals, including ward Chair Malla and the girl’s family.

On May 30, a team of Karnali Provincial Assembly members concluded that the incident was premeditated and borne out of caste-based discrimination.

The court released a woman on Rs 100,000 bail and three others were freed without bail.

Before this, two minors allegedly involved in the case have been sent to a juvenile reform center on June 15.

On June 14 , Rukum District Attorney’s Office had filed cases of homicide, attempted homicide and caste-based discrimination and untouchability against 34 people involved in the crime.