NEPAL: Mass killings and humanitarian crisis in Kapilabastu district of Nepal

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

(7 March 2005)

ABSTRACT

In Nepal 300 houses have been burned down and mass rape and murder of innocent civilians has been carried out by a mob backed by the state security force, the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA). Mob, believed to be trained and organised by the RNA, attacked 21 villages in Kapilabastu district rendering 2000 people, including women and children, homeless. The international intervention is sought to stop further atrocities and lose of lives, and to release arbitrarily arrested political activists.

FULL TEXT

NEPAL: Urgent need for humanitarian intervention by the international community

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the burning of more than 300 houses and the mass rape and murder of innocent civilians by a mob backed by the state security force, the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA). According to reports, the mob, believed to be trained and organised by the RNA, attacked 21 villages in Kapilabastu district, Nepal. Such incidents indicate that the country has been pushed into full civil/ethnic war. The situation is so intense that in the absence of immediate intervention by the international community, some 2000 people, including women and children who have been rendered homeless due to these horrifying events, might further suffer or even lose their lives.

We also wish to refer you to recent information regarding the freedom of movement of members of the National Human Rights Commission and the arrest of 13 political activists.

We further request you to visit the website on http://nepal.ahrchk.net/ where you can see all our documents regarding the recent situation in Nepal.

Urgent Appeals Desk

The Asian Human Rights Commission


DETAILED INFORMATION:

On 17 February 2005, a group of Maoists went to the villages of Kapilabastu District in search of two people of which one person was a retired sub-inspector of police. Once the Maoists left, an armed mob immediately gathered and proceeded to take retaliatory steps against the Maoists. The mob, though initially small in number, gathered strength to about 1000 people within a small time. They then dispersed into 21 villages killing innocent people, brutally torturing and raping others, and looting and setting fire to houses. Throughout the carnage, reports confirm at least 21 murders, the rape of a 12-year-old girl and the burning of 321 houses rendering at least 2,000 people homeless. The AHRC has reason to believe that these mobs are trained and armed by the Nepal government/RNA.

Confirmed reports from confidential sources also state that on February 20, the armed mob had entered Shivapur village and set fire to 305 houses and had attacked several people. Among those reported to be murdered from Sivapur and the surrounding villages are Mr. Prem Bahadur Raskoti, Mr. Yam Bahadura Dada Magar, Mr. Bishnu Panthi, Mr. Dukhi Chamar, Mr. Jhinkan Yadav, Mr. Ramjan Musalman, Mr. Ram Das, Mr. Binaya Tula Musalman and Mr. Ynjana Musalman. Some of these people were members of the Village Development Committees of Jahabari, Patharaiya and Ganeshpur of Kapilabastu district. Dozens of people were severely tortured and injured in the rampage.

Ms. Sarita (alias Sita), a 12-year-old girl of Shivapur village was raped in public by members of the armed civilian mob. When a teacher from a local school came to know of this incident, he reported it to the police. Immediately following the teacher’s report, police from the Taulihawa police station went to the place of incident and took into custody the girl and her father. It is reported that the girl and her father remain in police custody to date. Further, government agencies are now accusing the teacher and the members of the village development committee for reporting the rape to the police.

After the rampage the dead bodies were collected by the government security forces who never returned them to their relatives. Thus the forces denied the minimum right of the deceased for a proper funeral according to their religious beliefs. During the entire incident none of the government security forces intervened to stop the rampage. The collection of dead bodies and lack of intervention by the government security forces fortifies the theory that the entire incident was premeditated and sponsored by the government security forces and the RNA.

The disposal of the dead bodies by the security forces would also provide sufficient time and space for the actual cause of death to be withheld. It is alleged that several people who were taken into custody allegedly for being Maoist sympathisers were also killed and that their bodies were disposed of before relatives could obtain them.

This latest incident reveals the strong, widespread presence of an armed civilian group in Nepal identifying themselves as ‘Village Defense Committees’. They have taken up arms in support of the government who are in return providing them with support. The AHRC fears that the presence of this armed civilian group within the country and its involvement in fighting within communities will soon lead to an armed civilian conflict adding to the existing conflict between the Maoists and government forces resulting in a massive and grave humanitarian catastrophe.

In another report out of Nepal, three members of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal have been prevented from boarding a domestic flight by security forces. On Saturday March 5, NHRC members, Sushi Pyakurel, Dr Gauri Shankar Lal Das and Yagya Prasad Adhikari were attempting to board a flight to Bhairahawa to monitor the human rights situation in Kapilvastu. They were, however, stopped by security forces at the airport who told them that they did not have permission to travel outside of Kathmandu.

In a further report, details have been provided regarding the arrest of 13 political activists from Pokhara affiliated with the Nepali Congress (NC). On 4 March 2005, the activists were holding a protest rally against the royal proclamation. During the rally, security forces began using force and to control the activists, before arresting the following:

1. Yagya Bahadur Thapa, Chairperson, NC, District Development Committee (DDC)

2. Bishnu Poudel, Member NC, DDC

3. Murari Sharma Poudel, Chairperson: Trade Union, Congress, Kaski

4. Khem Kumari Baral, Member, NC district committee

5. Bhabe Sarki Vice chari, Dalit wing of NC, Kaski

6. Mukunda Bastola, former vice chair, student wing

7. Bijaya Regmi, Regional member NC

8. Yug Raj Lamichane, Vice Chair, student union

9. Raghunath Parajuli, Regional representative

10. Pundari Prasad Baralm, Active member

11. Bharat Bahadur Thapa, Regional representative

12. Anita Timilsina, Member, women organisation

13. Bishnu hari Baral, Nagar Samit Chair (he was arrested on March 3 from his house)

The current situation in Nepal should trigger an alert to the international community regarding the seriousness of armed internal civilian conflicts. Other internal conflicts around the world witnessed in recent times are all the reason the international community needs to intervene in the case of Nepal. Failure to intervene in this worsening crisis could allow for the deaths and torture of many more innocent Nepali civilians.

SUGGESTED ACTION

Please send a letter, fax or email to the authorities listed below and express your concern about this matter.

Sample letter:

Dear___________,

I am disturbed to hear about the recent news of armed civilian conflict in Nepal.

I have been informed that on 17 February 2005 a group of Maoists went to the villages of Kapilabastu District in Nepal in search of two people of which one person was a retired sub-inspector of police. Once the Maoists left, an armed civilian mob immediately gathered and proceeded to take retaliatory steps against the Maoists. The mob, though initially small in number, gathered strength to about 1000 people within a small time. They then dispersed into 21 villages killing innocent people, brutally torturing and raping others, and looting and setting fire to houses. Throughout the carnage, reports confirm at least 21 murders, the rape of a 12-year-old girl and the burning of 321 houses rendering at least 2000 people homeless. I am aware, through the Asian Human Rights Commission, a regional NGO, that there are credible reasons to believe that these mobs are trained and armed by the Nepal government/RNA.

I am deeply concerned by the brutality of this attack. Innocent civilians were subjected to rape, torture, and killings during the carnage, while many have been left homeless and remain extremely vulnerable. I am also worried that no medical assistance whatsoever has been provided to the victims and that the state security agencies are trying to cover up the entire incident.

I am afraid that the presence of this armed civilian group within the country and its involvement in fighting within communities will soon lead to an armed civilian conflict adding to the existing conflict between the Maoists and government forces, resulting in a massive and grave humanitarian catastrophe in Nepal.

I also write out of concern for two other reports to come out of Nepal in recent days. The first case involved three members of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal who were prevented from boarding a domestic flight by security forces. On Saturday March 5, NHRC members, Sushi Pyakurel, Dr Gauri Shankar Lal Das and Yagya Prasad Adhikari were attempting to board a flight to Bhairahawa to monitor the human rights situation in Kapilvastu. They were, however, stopped by security forces at the airport who told them that they did not have permission to travel outside of Kathmandu.

In another case, details have been provided regarding the arrest of 13 political activists from Pokhara affiliated with the Nepali Congress. On 4 March 2005, the activists were holding a protest rally against the royal proclamation. During the rally, security forces began using force to control the activists, before arresting the following:

1. Yagya Bahadur Thapa, Chairperson, NC, District Development Committee (DDC)

2. Bishnu Poudel, Member NC, DDC

3. Murari Sharma Poudel, Chairperson: Trade Union, Congress, Kaski

4. Khem Kumari Baral, Member, NC district committee

5. Bhabe Sarki Vice chari, Dalit wing of NC, Kaski

6. Mukunda Bastola, former vice chair, student wing

7. Bijaya Regmi, Regional member NC

8. Yug Raj Lamichane, Vice Chair, student union

9. Raghunath Parajuli, Regional representative

10. Pundari Prasad Baralm, Active member

11. Bharat Bahadur Thapa, Regional representative

12. Anita Timilsina, Member, women organisation

13. Bishnu hari Baral, Nagar Samit Chair (he was arrested on March 3 from his house)

Due to the severity of the attack in Kapilabastu District and because of further arrests and prevention of movement by human rights representatives, I write to you urging that you take immediate steps to ensure international intervention in Nepal. An international investigation should also be conducted into the current monarch of Nepal and the actions that the King has recently taken. Pressure should also be directed towards the Maoists so as to put a stop to the worsening situation in Nepal.

Yours sincerely,

____________

SEND A LETTER TO:

1. Kofi Annan

Secretary-General,

United Nations Room S-3800,

New York NY 10017

U.S.A.

Fax: +1 212 963 4879/2155

E-mail: mailto:ecu@un.org

2. Louise Arbour

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

1211 Geneva 10,

Switzerland

Fax: +41 22 917 9012 / 0213

3. H. E. Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg

President of the Security Council

Permanent Representative of Brazil

747 Third Avenue 9th Floor

New York, NY 10017-2803

U.S.A.

Fax:: +1 212 371 5716

E-mail: delbrasonu@delbrasonu.org

4. H.E. Mr. Jean PING

President of the General Assembly

Office of the President of the General Assembly

United Nations, New York, NY, 10017

U.S.A.

Fax: +1 212 963 3301

SEND A COPY TO:

1. His Majesty King Gyanendra

Narayanhity Royal Palace

Durbar Marg

Kathmandu

Nepal

Tel: +977 14 413577/227577

Fax: +977 14 227395/ 411955

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Posted on 2005-03-07

Source: Asian Human Rights Commission – 2005 March 7

Leave a Reply