The District Police Office, Chitwan has arrested a Nepal Army officer on the charge of beating a local youth to death after he entered the restricted area of Chitwan National Park.

Chief of Chitwan District Police Office, Superintendent of Police (SP) Nanti Raj Gurung, informed that Nepal Army’s Chiran Kumar Budha of Geruwa-5, Bardiya was arrested on September 20 for investigation into his involvement in the case. He has been remanded in 15-day custody with permission from the Chitwan District Court.

The arrested officer is also said to have undergone a polygraph test on Tuesday to find out if he lied in his statement to the police.

“We have started the investigation on the basis of the complaint filed by the father of the deceased,” said SP Gurung.

Rajkumar Chepang, 24, of Milan Tol in Piple, Rapti Municipality-2 of Chitwan district, had succumbed to his injuries a few days after he was severely thrashed by a Nepal Army officer.

Seven people from Milan Tol, including Rajkumar, had left their houses on the afternoon of July 16 to pick snails and vegetables nearby the Rapti River. They were arrested by a soldier guarding the park while collecting leafy vegetables and snails (ghongi) in the Jundi River, which lies within the boundaries of Chitwan National Park.

Rajkumar, who fell ill after being severely thrashed in custody, died seven days later while being taken to Bharatpur Hospital for treatment.

Rajkumar’s father Bishnu Lal had lodged a complaint at the District Police Office on July 24 demanding action against those involved in beating his son. On September 10, he filed another complaint naming the person who had thrashed his son.

Police arrested the accused, Budha, 10 days after the complaint was lodged, and after procuring Rajkumar’s post-mortem, viscera test, and blood test reports.

Among the seven persons who were taken into custody and beaten for entering into the Park’s restricted zone, hospital reports of two others injured by the cop’s beating have also been prepared, police informed.

Nepal Chepang Association had declared agitation demanding action against the culprit and relief to the family after Rajkumar’s death. Following which, the District Administration Office agreed to book the culprit and provide relief to the family of the deceased.

Though Rajkumar’s family had initially refused to receive his dead body demanding fair investigation into the incident, they later received the body after an agreement was reached at the District Administration Office on August 2 that a compensation of Rs 1,000,000 will be provided to the bereaved Chepang family.

Of the total pledged compensation amount, the Lothar Intermediate Consumer Committee of Chitwan National Park had immediately provided Rs 100,000 to the Chepang family as cremation expenses. The family later received Rs 300,000 from the Rapti Municipality Office.

The remaining compensation, Rs 600,000 pledged by the Chitwan National Park, however has yet to be deposited.