NHRC finds security forces’ excesses in Tarai

  • ‘Agitators misused the right to gather in public place’
- Post Report, Kathmandu
The human rights watchdog urges the government to identify individuals using communal slurs on protesters and demands actions against them

Nov 2, 2015-The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has concluded that the security forces used excessive force against protesters, while the protesters retaliated with home-made weapons in the ongoing protests in the Tarai, leaving 49 dead and 729 injured.

In a report released on Sunday, the national rights body has said that in most of the protest-related deaths, the victims were found to have been shot in the chest, head and stomach in breach of the Local Administration Act. The act specifies that security personnel are only allowed to shoot at suspected criminals or law violators below their knees.

According to the report, security forces killed 32 people, while the protesters killed nine security personnel during protests, which are still going on in the plains. The protesters have refused to take responsibility of the killings of five people, while three participants of a protest rally had died in a tractor accident as they were returning home. Highlighting the humanitarian impact created by the blockade, the commission said that the agitating forces have been blockading the border entry points. “This may even create problems in Nepal-India relations,” read the report.

“The agitators misused the right to gather in public place peacefully,” said NHRC spokesperson Mohna Ansari.

She said the agitating forces have deprived the people from exercising their basic rights.

The repeated curfew orders, declaration of riot-hit zones and indefinite banda have violated people’s right to mobility and to do business, among others, it said.

The commission also noted in its report that the security personnel as well as protesters attacked some media houses and journalists during protests. Recommending a probe panel to investigate the killings by both sides, it has called for bringing the culprit to justice and providing proper compensation to the families of the deceased.

Security threats have increased in areas near Indo-Nepal border points as cadres of the Madhes-centric parties staged protests in no-man’s-land and bordering areas of India, against international norms and values, according to the commission.

The report, based on evidences gathered from field visits to 14 affected districts, has also pointed out that police had used communal slurs on protesters. The commission has urged the government to identify such individuals and take action against them.

Last month, Human Rights Watch and Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance had released similar reports on the Tarai unrest, claiming that security personnel had used excessive force against protesters.

They claimed to have found serious rights violation after the government deployed security forces to contain the protests. They have documented eyewitness accounts in which they narrated how police deliberately opened fire at protesters and shot some of them at “point-blank range”.

“The international community needs to take into account all these reports and raise these issues in the UPR session to pressure the government to form a commission to probe the killings in the Tarai,” said advocate Dipendra Jha.

Published: 02-11-2015 07:42

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