National

Armed group leader killed in action

  • Doubts surface over authenticity of leader Chaudhary’s death; NCP demands investigation
- ABDHESH KUMAR JHA, RAJBIRAJ

Jan 24, 2019-

A leader of an armed Tarai outfit was killed in police action at Rupani of Saptari district in the wee hours of Wednesday. Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajendra Bista said Dipendra Jayaswal Chaudhary, a permanent resident of Surunga Municipality-6 in Saptari, died in retaliatory firing. According to him, security personnel opened fire after Chaudhary shot at police patrol at around 4:30am. 

Chaudhary was shot dead at the head. SP Bista said the slain Chaudhary was a major leader of the Pragatishil Tarai Mukti Morcha, an armed group. He was one among a list of most-wanted people of the police for his alleged involvement in various criminal activities. 

Provincial Police Office of Province 2 and the District Police Office of Saptari have jointly launched a security operation against the underground outfit after it claimed responsibility of attacking a police officer on duty at Khadag Municipality, Saptari, on January 16. The assailants travelling on three motorcycles shot at and injured Head Constable Mahendra Yadav at Bishanpur Chowk. Critically injured Yadav is currently receiving treatment in Kathmandu now. Claiming to be the military chief of the underground outfit, Nishanta had telephoned the local reporters and owned up to the incident.

On Wednesday morning, the police patrol was heading towards Rupani from Rajbiraj, on a search operation, and met with Chaudhary. According to SP Bista, Chaudhary was riding pillion on a motorcycle. The registration number plate of the bike is yet to be ascertained, as the rider drove away. “The security personnel were compelled to fire for self-defence after the assailant fired at police during security check,” said Bista, claiming that the motorcyclist managed to flee from the incident site on the bike taking advantage of the darkness. Chaudhary died on the spot. 

The police claimed it seized a country-made pistol, a bullet and some pamphlets from Chaudhary. Two bullets shells and two cell phone sets were also collected from the site. The search is on to find the absconding motorcyclist and the vehicle, said police. 

According to SP Bista, Chaudhary shot dead Assistant Sub-Inspector Resham Subba of Jhutki Police Post in Saptari three years ago. He was also involved in hurling explosive device at a van belonging to Area Police Office in Kadorwana. 

Meanwhile, police also arrested Nishanta. Police have not disclosed when and from where he was arrested. We will make him public amid a press meet on Thursday, said SP Bista.   

Police’s action ‘suspicious’

Some local people claimed that the police’s action of killing Chaudhary is suspicious. They are urging human rights activists to look into the incident and demanding a probe into the shootout. Nepal Communist Party central member and former lawmaker Amar Mandal said that the incident was quite suspicious. “How could the motorcyclist have run away when the pillion was shot at his head?” Mandal questioned. Mandal and leaders of other political parties have demanded an investigation and asked the report be made public.

Published: 24-01-2019 10:00

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