Rukum incident: Body of sixth missing victim recovered after 10 days

Rukum incident

KATHMANDU, June 2: The body of sixth missing victim of the Rukum incident has been recovered from Bheri river on Tuesday, ten days after the incident took place.

Govinda Shahi, 19 of Bheri Municipality of Jajarkot district was the last missing victim. His body was recovered some 20 kilometers away from the incident site. His nose and hands were broken while eyes were damaged when his body was retrieved from the river.

The bodies of five persons have already been recovered.

The incident occurred when the locals attacked and chased away Nawaraj BK, 21, of Bheri municipality and his 18 friends into Bheri river, who had reached Soti village at Chaurjahari municipality in Western Rukum to take Nawaraj’s 17-year-old girlfriend belonging to a so-called “dominant” caste group as bride on 23 May, allegedly at her request.

The bodies of Nawaraj and Tikaram Sunar of Chaurjahari were found in the riverbank next morning. Ganesh Budha and Lokendra Sunar and Sanju BK of Bheri were also found dead lying in the river bank on May 25. Nawaraj’s other friends had sustained injuries in the attack.

Three days after the incident, the families of the victims filed a complaint against the 20 alleged perpetrators including the girl’s father and mother and Chaurjahari municipality Ward 8 Chair Dambar Bahadur Malla.

Police have taken 18 people into custody for investigation.

A five-member probe committee formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs has already begun investigation into the incident.

A team of National Human Rights Commission led by Deputy Director Chandra Kanta Chapagain also reached Jajarkot today and met with the local administration, police, victims families and stakeholders.

The United Nations has expressed “shock” over the “Dalit Killings” and condemned several other incidents of caste-based discrimination and violence that have taken place in Nepal during the COVID-19 pandemic.