Collusive system denying justice: Mystery behind the encounter of Kumar Poudel family cry foul

Reporters Club: The family of late Kumar Poudel, who was killed in Lalbandi 1 of Sarlahi district, have remorsefully requested the media and the civil society to be aware of the injustice toward them by the current government. Speaking at a special press conference organized at the Reporters Club, Hari Krishna Paudel stated that his late brother was not a criminal and neither had he committed any offenses. “He was the most helpful and understanding of all, and he always cared for the people. He was protesting against the corruption of the government that was involved in acquiring land through mafias and involved over 200 million Nepalese rupees being embezzled”.

There was no reason that he would be involved in an encounter with the police. These are baseless lies without any evidence. They killed my brother in captivity and tortured him”. Hari Paudel also stated that those involved in his brother’s organized murder were Bharat Kumar Thapa Mayor of Bagmati, Dilli Upreti Member of State Legislative Assembly, Sagar Nath from the forest development department, and Dacharam Wagle.

(Hari Krishna Poudel brother of late Kumar Poudel)

He also stated that the administration and the authorities were hand in glove which involved both the IGP Sarbendra Khanal, as well as the Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa aka Badal and that the entire incident was premeditated in order to kill his brother as their prime objective.

The family was not only denied of any post mortem reports neither was the body handed over to them on time. Poudel stated that “they kept the body for three days, and it was decayed and unrecognizable, his teeth and hands were broken, and there were visible signs that he could have been tortured while in custody”.

This view, however, goes against the official reports that late Kumar Poudel who was a member of Netra Bikram Chand’s (Biplav) Communist Party of Nepal prohibited by the current government was killed in an encounter after he fired at the police.

The brother of late Kumar Poudel at the press conference stated that “the family was desperately looking for justice which has been denied to them. He has requested the media to take the entire incident into account which has many loopholes that bring the notion that his brother was killed in captivity after being atrociously tortured”.

Speaking at the same program was the widow of late Kumar Poudel who pleaded for justice for her late husband, ” I have been going door to door for the sake of justice for my husband, although the government says it was an encounter that is not the truth, please give me justice” she said.

( Kala Poudel widow of late Kumar Poudel) 

The mother of late Kumar Poudel, 70-year-old Durga Devi Poudel sobbed continuously while speaking about her son. “There were 12-13 thousand people who attended by sons funeral if he was a criminal why would these people turn up? The entire administrations along with the justice system have collectively colluded in order to kill my son for the person he was.

They have taken huge amounts of money in order for this to happen. When I saw my son’s body it was beyond recognition, his teeth and hands were broken, and his body was riddled with bullets. Now we are forced to organize this press conference as no one is listening to us, and our path to justice is unclear” she said. She also questioned that “is the law only for common people like us, does the government get to go scot-free for whatever they do? They must be held accountable for their actions”.

(Mother of late Kumar Poudel, Durga Devi Poudel) 

With sadness and a  pent-up emotion Durga goes on to state “If I do not get justice, I will commit suicide in front of the Human Rights Commission, at this day and age even if we kill animals on the street we are asked to pay fines and penalized, what about the value of human life? She spoke about how helpless her family was given the conditions and not that they are financially well off. I am old, and I cannot go from pillar to post looking for justice, I request all media personnel to take this cause as this state has killed my son”.

On the occasion, senior Advocate Dinesh Tripathi said that “if we are living in a society that is civilized following the principles of democracy then for incidents such as this the government should be held accountable for. This government is terrorizing its citizens without following the due process of law, and since there is no provision of a death penalty in this country even via the Supreme Court, the police do not have the right to take anybody’s life like this”, he said.

(Senior Advocate Dinesh Tripathi)

“The body of late Kumar Poudel had enough evidence that he was brutally tortured in police custody and later murdered which was framed as an encounter, this is against all norms of a civilized society, there should be a thorough investigation regarding this matter. There should be zero tolerance regarding such cases, even our neighboring India passed a landmark judgment to prove extrajudicial killings, we should be doing the same”.

Advocate Tripathi also spoke on the various aspects of the constitution and its implementation which was completely in opposition regarding this case, and he remarked that even during the times of serious emergency the right to life always exists. The perpetrators of this heinous crime cannot go unpunished, we are slowly destroying our constitution”.

Human Rights Activist and Chair -Joint Forum for Human rights of Accountability Watch Committee Charan Prasai spoke about the violation of individual right, and in light of this making the government answerable for their actions. “The government has not been responsible and has gone beyond its democratic principles and the constitution. The victims, in this case, have been denied a fair investigation, while there are many questions that can be raised in this particular incident”.

(Human Rights Activist and Chair -Joint Forum for Human rights of Accountability Watch Committee Charan Prasai)

He also said that it is a gross violation of human rights and those very provisions that are enlisted in the constitution to which the government is caretaker too. There have been several incidents such as these, up to 12 such individual cases where the investigations have not been conclusive and the perpetrators still at large.

Activist Prasai said that this was a security issue, and it may befall on anyone. “We cannot get distracted in cases like these which are of significance. We need to be serious and cannot let these incidents continue”. He also said that it was unfortunate that the victim’s family were not treated well when they first approached the Human Rights Commission seeking justice. There is an urgent need for justice for the victim’s family, and we need to get the truth out without holding any preexisting prejudice”.

The family hopes to get justice and will be going from pillar to post explaining their plight and hoping that there will be people within the system in support for them sharing their sentiment. The family feels they have been denied justice by the system which is working closely with one another against them, and it is the government that is responsible for taking their kin’s life.