Police firing kills 1 during protest over tractor incident
BIRGUNJ, July 5: A man was killed on Thursday when police opened fire to disperse protestors in Garuda of Mahammadpur VDC of Rautahat district.
The clash erupted when the locals encircled Area Police Office of Garuda and blocked Chandranigahapur-Gaur road from early morning to exert pressure on the police to release a tractor driver involved in a recent hit and run accident.
Ramod Sah, 30, a resident of Mahammadpur VDC-6, was shot dead during a violent clash between police and local people. Shah was shot in his chest.
At least 14 people, including Armed Police Force (APF) inspector Suman Lamichhane, were injured in the clash. Two of the injured, who are said to be in critical condition, have been rushed to Kathmandu for treatment.
The infuriated agitators set an APF check post on fire at Garuda protesting Sah´s killing. They put Sah´s dead body on the road and demonstrated against police brutality till Thursday evening.
The local administration has urged the agitators to sort out the issue through talks. However, they have refused to sit for talks unless police inspector Ramnarayan Majhi, who allegedly issued an order for his subordinates to open fire on the protestors, is suspended.
On Tuesday, the police had arrested Ram Biraj Yadav, who operates a tractor (Na. 3 Ta 7443) owned by one Upendra Yadav, in connection with the hit and run incident in which one died and two persons were injured.
On June 28, Ramshrestha Raut, a wedding party member, was killed when the tractor ran over him. Two more people were injured in the accident. Police arrested Yadav on the charge of running his tractor over Raut.
However, the locals say Yadav is innocent. They also claim that the police helped the real guilty to flee and arrested Yadav instead.
After the agitating locals pelted bricks and stones at the police office, the police had first fired tear gas shells. When the locals did not budge, the police resorted to gunshot. However, human rights activist Bipin Adhikari, who observed the whole unrest, says, “It was not necessary for police to open fire.”
Chief District Officer (CDO) of Rautahat Shiva Hari Upadhyaya says he just directed the police to clear the obstructed road. “I did not direct the police to use force against the locals,” he said.