‘Excessive’ use of force concerns rights groups

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 10, 2015-

Excessive use of force by the state to quell protests might lead to more violence in Tarai belt, a Madhes-based rights organisation has said.

Five more people were killed during protests in Tarai on Wednesday, taking the total number of deaths to 33 as the entire Tarai belt has remained shut due to general strike since Madhesi and Tharu people launched protest against demarcation on August 9.

“There is severe shortage of essentials and medicines. Shops and factories are closed. Daily wage earners have difficulty managing two meals a day,” the organisation said in a report on Wednesday.

Shanta Lal Yadav, 62, of Parsa, who is undergoing treatment at a local hospital after being injured in police action, told the rights defenders that police “opened fire indiscriminately at locals who were sipping morning tea at a Inarwa Chowk.

In Bara district, Hira Das Baniya, 82, a resident of Kalaiya, said security personnel barged into the room as he was sleeping. Police beat up my sons and grandsons, used communal slurs. He woke up at a hospital next day.

The THRD Alliance has reported that police opened fire at locals and beat them up indiscriminately. “In none of the protests in Terai investigated by THRD Alliance was tear gas or a water cannon used to disperse the mob. Rather the security forces used lathis and then immediately resorted to live ammunition,” stated the report.

In a field monitor, the National Human Rights Commission has also found similar situation of the people. “We have found excessive use of force by the state to control the protesters in all districts,” said Commissioner Mohana Ansari, adding that such approach has fuelled locals’ anger. “Security forces applied the same tactics to control the protesters without analysing the situation.”

Ansari monitored the rights situation in Kapilvastu, Nawalparasi, Dang, Bara, Parsa and Rupendehi after the protests erupted in the plains. She said the political parties should find a political solution to the present crisis in Tarai before the situation gets out of hand. The commission will make public its reports soon, she said.

Meanwhile, Federal Socialist Forum, Nepal, has urged the UN General Ban Ki-moon to intervene in the “brutal oppression and massacre” of the protesters by the state. Sending a letter through McGoldrick, UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal, the forum said the state continuous denying the demands of the dissenting parties might lead to a “civil war like situation”.

SC serves show cause for use of weapons

The Supreme Court has issued a show cause notice to Office of the Prime Minister, Nepal Police Headquarters, Law Ministry and National Human Rights Commission for use of weapons by security forces in the ongoing protests in different parts of the country.

A single bench of Justice Gobinda Kumar Upadhyay on Wednesday issued the order and summoned the defendants to the court on September 15 to explain the motive behind the use of weapons by security personnel against protesters.

On September 3, Rakshyaram Chamar, on behalf of Bismilah Khatun, wife of Jakar Husain who was injured in police firing in Birgunj, had filed a writ seeking ban on use of weapons and force by security personnel against protesters.

The writ claimed that security forces were opening fire at the protesters with the intent of killing them without even issuing a warning.

It also presented the cases of Rajiv Raut and Raj Kishor Thakur who were shot dead by security personnel during protests in Sarlahi and Rautahat districts.

The Local Administration Act 2008 specifies that security personnel are only allowed to shoot at suspected criminals or law violators below their knees.

The petitioner demanded the government follow the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials 1990 and Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials of the UN while mobilising the forces.

At least 33 people, including 10 security personnel, have died since August 10 in protests against the proposed federal delineation.

Published: 10-09-2015 08:01

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