The National Human Rights Commission recently released a report on the ‘encounter killing’ of Netra Bikram Chand-led Nepal Communist Party’s Sarlahi In-charge Kumar Paudel, saying he was taken under police control before he was shot dead.

There have been multiple cases that are suspected extra judicial executions and incidents of police using excessive force in the Tarai in recent years. The NHRC has yet to make its investigation reports on rights violation in the Tarai public.

The NHRC had launched investigation into some suspectcases of extra judicial killings that took place in recent years, but the rights body has not made its reports public yet.

Alleged gangsters Dinesh Adhikari aka Chari and Kumar Shrestha aka Ghainte were   killed in police ‘encounters’ in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Alleged gangster Manoj Pun was killed in ‘encounter’ in February 2018 in Rupandehi district, and Ajay Tamang  and Gopal Tamang, who had allegedly kidnapped and killed a minor boy in Bhaktapur, were shot dead by police in August 2018.

NHRC member Mohna Ansari said the rights body was in the process of making public other reports. “Making public Kumar Paudel’s case was possible as the agencies involved including the Nepal Police and medical doctor, who had conducted autopsy, submitted their reports to us within seven days,” Ansari said, adding that the NHRC was yet to receive reports from the police and doctors in other cases of ‘encounter killings’ and ‘excessive’ use of force. “The doctor who conducted post-mortem on Paudel’s body told us that he could not come up with a standard report because our office did not tell him to do the job in the prescribed manner, said Ansari. “But why should our office or any other offices tell doctors to conduct post-mortem in a certain manner? Doctors are soley responsible for their jobs.”

She said preliminary investigation of some of the cases of ‘encounter killings’ indicated that the victims were taken under control before they were shot dead.

Director Nirajan Thapaliya of Amnesty International Nepal said the NHRC did not publish some of its investigation report related to ‘extra judicial killings’ that took place in Tarai districts after special security plan was launched in 2009.

“Scores of people were killed in the run up to the promulgation of the constitution in 2015, but the NHRC has not published any of its investigation report,” Thapaliya said.

He said the current structure of the NHRC was flawed and that those errors should be corrected to enable the NHRC office bearers to act impartially, independently and freely. “It appears that the NHRC lacks will to thoroughly investigate cases of rights violations,” he added.

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