Eye witness of the brick kiln murders recounts harrowing details

Reporters Club Events: “I hid nearby in the wheat fields. The injured were given injections and put to sleep. The bodies were then taken to Raja Brick kiln which was owned by Sheikh Idris the uncle of Mohammad Aftab Alam, and all of them were burnt alive. My son-in-law was one of the victims”. An emotionally hardened account, given by one of the few survivors of the brick kiln murders, that transpired in Fardahwa of Rautahat district, on the 9th of April 2008.

Speaking in the Reporters Club after a period of 12 years, 53-year-old, Shamshul Miyan is ardent on his belief of getting justice, not only for his son-in-law but also the latter’s Mother Ruksana Khatun who was murdered on 23rd of January 2011. Ruksana was shot by unidentified assailants who fled the scene.

“It was election season and political parties were gearing up to the campaign. There were a lot of people in the area. Many had come to campaign for the elections. Mohammad Osi Akhtar son-in-law of Shamsul Miyan had returned from Dubai where he was working.

His childhood friend Trilok Pratap Singh also known as Pintu had come to visit him. Trilok was campaigning for the Nepali Congress (NC) and Mohammad Aftab Alam was contesting the elections representing the NC”.

Shamsul who was said to be in Sarlahi was returning back and received information about his son-in-law who had gone to Alam’s house taken by his friend Trilok. He immediately headed towards Alam’s house to get his son-in-law back.

“At around 6 in the evening, at a cowshed, Alam’s men were in the process of making bombs, some which had already been made were stacked in order to threaten and demoralize the people during the elections. Around 25-30 people were in the brick kiln including his son-in-law and his friend Trilok. There was a wall that separated the few”.

“Since Shamshul was not present on the occasion and arrived a little late it was uncertain how the bomb exploded. One of the reasons given was people smoking beedis (local cigarettes) on the spot.

The immediate damage that was caused led to the death of several people with most of them being injured by the impact and shrapnel. The injured were made to lie down and given injections by unknown people who were close to Alam.

The injections had the wounded severely sedated, and in unconsciousness, their bodies were loaded in a tractor. I had reached there and was not allowed entry. I hid nearby in the wheat fields and saw the events unfold in front of my eyes.

The tractor was escorted by a police jeep which had then Superintendent of Police Krishna Lama. They took the bodies to Raja Brick Kiln and burnt them alive in the furnace. All possible evidence was destroyed in the process with the active help from the administration and Nepal Police”.

“Alam had a history of being violent, a local bully who was known as “Tiger” in the area for his notoriety.

Later, when Jay Narayan Singh wanted to file an official FIR, he was constantly threatened and coerced with monetary benefits and compensation.

None of the tactics would work. Ruksana would later file an FIR and although denied several times in her attempts, it was only done as a matter of formality. She was constantly threatened, and coerced into taking back the formal complaint her refusal to do so led to her death”.

23 people and maybe more is said to have perished in the brick kiln that night. Several were only partially injured but were made unconscious by a sedative given through an injection taken to the Raja brick kiln owned by Sheikh Idris and thrown into the furnace burning them to death. Many of the victims are said to be Indian citizens but this needs to be ascertained as very few are willing to speak about the incident.

Shamshul believes that now there will be justice and that Mohammad Aftab Alam will be convicted for one of the most atrocious of all crimes in recent Nepalese history.