Police yesterday found the body of Govinda Shahi, the sixth missing youth in the Soti Dalit murder case.
The body of 19-year-old Shahi was recovered from Bheri River in Khodakhola of Jajarkot, 10 days after he was allegedly murdered.
According to eye witnesses of the body, Shahi’s head was covered with a cloth, his eyes were damaged and his hands and nose were broken when police found the body. The body has been sent to Jajarkot Hospital for post-mortem.
Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee on Law and Justice has asked the government to form a separate Dalit cell within Nepal Police to look into the cases of caste-based discrimination and violence.
The committee’s meeting held yesterday was attended by Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa, Minister for Law and Justice Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe, Attorney General Agni Kharel and Nepali Police chief Thakur Gyawali to inquire about the progress in investigating the two recent cases of caste-based violence in Rukum (West) and Rupandehi districts.
On May 23, 21-year-old Nabaraj BK of Bheri Municipality-4 in Jajarkot had gone to Soti of Chaurjahari Municipality-8 in Rukum West to bring his 17-year-old girlfriend as his bride, with her consent, along with his friends.
The group of youths, however, were chased and attacked by the villagers as well as the girl’s family. A day later, the bodies of Nabaraj and Tikaram Sunar were found on the banks of the Bheri river.
The bodies of Ganesh Budha, Lokendra Sunar and Sandip BK, who had gone missing with Nabaraj, were recovered from the river on May 25.
The incident spiralled after the so called “upper caste” locals attacked the youths allegedly under the pretext of belonging to the so called “lower caste”.
The post-mortem report of five recovered bodies concluded the cause of death as thrashing.
All five deceased had injury marks in their heads, faces, hands, legs, chests, backs, and other parts of their bodies, according to the post-mortem report.
Police have taken 18 people, including Chaurjahari Ward No 8 chair Dambar Bahadur Malla, in custody for investigation into the incident.
Similarly, a 13-year-old Dalit girl, who was raped by 25-year-old Birendra Bhar on May 22, was found hanging from a tree under suspicious circumstances in Rupandehi.
The locals of Devdaha Municipality had forced the rapist to marry the girl on the day she was raped.
On May 24, the girl’s body was found hanging near the Rohini stream in Devdaha. Bhar’s family is reported to have rejected the girl saying that she belonged to a “lower caste”.
Police have arrested Bhar, his mother Akali and aunt Sitali in connection with the incident and investigation in ongoing.