Curfew in Rampur after violent protest over a 'mysterious' death
TEK NARAYAN BHATTARAI
PALPA, Jan 21: The District Administration Office on Sunday imposed an indefinite curfew in Rampur Bazaar in Palpa district after the locals clashed with the police over the death of a woman under mysterious circumstances.
Following the death of a 27-year-old Sonu Shrestha, locals numbering around 5,000 had encricled the Area Police Office, Rampur from Sunday morning demanding thorough investigation and punishment for the guilty. But the protest turned violent in the afternoon that saw 18 policemen and three protestors injured in a clash. Police fired 65 rounds in the air and some tear gas canisters. After the situation spiralled out of control, the District Administration Office imposed an indefinite curfew from 3 pm, according to the Area Police Office. The protestors also torched a shed on the premises of the Area Police Office.
"Curfew has been imposed to bring the situation under control," said police inspector Purushottam Pandey.
A reinforcement of 100 policemen including those from District Police office Palpa, Regional Police Office Pokhara and Butwal Police Office has been sent to Rampur to prevent further escalation of violence. A team of 55 policemen from Pokhara has already reached the incident site by Sunday night.
Sonu, the second wife of one Om Bahadur Shrestha, had gone missing since December 19, 2012. Her relatives had registered a complaint with police categorically accusing Om Bahadur for her disappearance. But on Saturday, her body was found inside a sack floating on the Kaligandaki River. Some stones were also found in the sack which police said might have been put to prevent the body from floating.
Earlier on December 24, after pressure from the relatives and locals, police had arrested Om Bahadur but had released him on the same day. Locals have accused the police of siding with Om Bahadur. Locals said Om Bahadur did not make any efforts to search for the missing wife so he was involved in murdering his wife.
After the recovery of the body, police have arrested Om Bahadur and his first wife Krishna Devi Shrestha for investigation. Police said Om Bahadur has admitted to physically and mentally torturing Sonu on different occasions. According to Sonu´s kin, Om Bahadur was eying the in-laws property worth millions of rupees and he had sold some of Sonu´s property as well. Police said post mortem on the body will be conducted on Sunday night.