The investigation by a parliamentary committee has concluded that the murder of six Dalit youths in Soti village of Chaurjahari Municipality in Rukum (West) was a result of caste-based discrimination.
The committee’s investigation report submitted to Speaker Agni Sapkota also states that the killing was a crime against humanity.
On May 23, Nabaraj BK and five of his friends from Bheri Municipality in Jajarkot district were killed by Soti locals in an incident of caste-based violence when 21-year-old BK reached the village to elope with his 17-year-old girlfriend.
Dead bodies of Ganesh Budha Magar, Tikaram Nepali, Lokendra Sunar, Govinda Shahi and Sanju BK whose bodies were recovered from the Bheri River the following days.
According to the investigation report, the mass murder was premeditated and conspired by the girl’s family as they were not happy with their daughter being in a relationship with a so called “lower caste” boy.
Amid much pressure from the opposition parties, the House of Representatives had formed the nine-member investigation team on June 8.
The probe committee also said that it found utter lapses on the part of the local administration as well as the local government in investigating the incident.
As per the report, the local police had taken the injured under control instead of the attackers and has suggested that the police’s entire investigation process was flawed.
As many as 29 people accused of carrying out the murder were arrested only the next day after widespread criticism. The district court has released five after recording their statements while two, including Nabaraj’s girlfriend, have been sent to juvenile correction centre.
The probe report also states that police failed to accurately report the crime scene and the places where the victims’ bodies were found.
The investigation team also found that the police hadn’t taken statements from those who recovered bodies from the river.
The probe committee has also called for further study citing lapses on the part of local administration.
“The fact that the autopsy was carried out by Dr Bhupendra Malla, son of Bhakta Bahadur, the lawyer of the accused, also gives ample room to doubt the authenticity of the post-mortem report,” says the report.
The parliamentary probe committee had also drawn the government’s attention to the need to give the Dalit Commission, which does not have an office since the past five years, its full shape.
The report will be sent to the government for implementation since the Parliament has been prorogued.