The body of Rajkumar Chepang, who allegedly died due to severe thrashing at the hands of army personnel deployed for the security of Chitwan National Park, has been sent to Kathmandu for post-mortem.
Rajkumar’s body was kept at the mortuary of Bharatpur Hospital and sent to the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Maharajgunj, Kathmandu on Sunday evening.
“Since we do not have a forensic expert here, we sent the body to Kathmandu for post-mortem,” said Dr Sujan Adhikari, Bharatpur Hospital’s forensic doctor, adding, “The incident is controversial and things could escalate if the post-mortem report is erroneous, so we didn’t want to take any risk.”
A team of police with four Chepang leaders arrived in Kathmandu with the body.
Rajkumar’s family members gave their approval to conduct the post-mortem after reaching an agreement with the District Administration Office on Sunday. Rajkumar’s family and the DAO agreed that the house where the family of the deceased has been living would be re-built by Chitwan National Park, a monthly allowance of Rs. 1,000 will be provided to Rajkumar’s one-year-old daughter, and Rajkumar’s wife will be provided employment as per her capability.
The family has claimed that Rajkumar, who had gone to the area around the Rapti River to collect small snails, was taken under control by army personnel deployed at Chitwan National Park and severely beaten before being released.
They have also alleged that Rajkumar died within a few days after he was thrashed by army men. Rajkumar, a resident of Rapti Municipality-2, Chitwan, died on July 22 while being brought to Bharatpur Hospital for treatment.
His father, Bishnu Lal Chepang, has been demanding fair investigation into the incident and punishment for the culprit.
The army, however, has denied the family’s claim that he died from the beating.