One person has been shot dead and five others have sustained bullet injuries in Birtamode, Jhapa Friday after the police opened fire during the clash with locals who took out a rally demanding punishment against a trio accused of murdering a boy. The deceased has been identified as Naresh Thapa of Charpane.
The local administration has imposed an indefinite curfew in Birtamode since 1:30 Friday afternoon. Chief District Officer (CDO) of Jhapa Rishi Ram Tiwari said the curfew was imposed after the rally taken out in protest of the boy’s murder went out of control.
Laxman Shiwakoti, 11, of Arjundhara had gone to Sudhir Pokharel’s house in Birtamode on September 30 to fetch shoes sent to him by his uncle from abroad. But he went missing and his body was found in a pond nearby the next day with injuries on head, hand and other different parts of body.
The boy’s parents then filed a murder complaint identifying Santosh Pokharel, 36, Samir Pokharel, 34, and Sudhir Pokharel, 32, as the culprits. The police have arrested the trio and are investigating but the family of the boy are not satisfied with the progress of investigation. Relatives of the kid and locals called shutdown of Birtamode for Friday stating that the culprits have yet to be punished.
The violence started after the locals, who started a rally from the Shanischare Road, vandalized the Area Police Office. The irate locals also entered the Division Road Office in Anarmani and torched vehicles and an excavator inside the office premises. They then took out gas cylinders from inside the office and tried to torch it, according to the police.
The police then opened fire to take the mob under control. Naresh Thapa has died due to the bullets while one Mani Nepal has been critically injured. Other four persons have also sustained bullet injuries. They are being treated at B&C Hospital.
SP of the Armed Police Force (APF) Ramesh Subedi has also been injured after being attacked by the mob. A total of 14 Nepal Police personnel and around a dozen APF men have also been injured.
The police suspect that the locals have vented their ire of recent demolition of structures for road expansion in Anarmani done using police force on pretext of the boy’s murder. The police contend that there was no need to vandalize Division Road Office and the equipment used in road expansion while protesting murder of the boy.