AHRC Probes Man's Disappearance Under Police Custody in Nepal
The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information that a man disappeared after being taken into police custody in Banke district. He was arrested on 6 September 2012 under allegations of rape and the police reported that he escaped custody on 8 September. Nevertheless, since then neither his family members nor his friends have heard from him. It was 11 days after his alleged escape that the police reported that he had drowned in the river while being chased, but have brought forward no conclusive evidence in support of this claim. An investigation team has been formed but has not yet determined his whereabouts.
According to the information we have received, Deepak Pariyar, 22, a permanent resident of Binouna VDC-08, Banke district was arrested by police officers dispatched from Area Police Office, Dhampur, Banke district on 6 September 2012 on the charge of attempted rape. The following day, his family visited him at the police station and was able to meet him. On 8 September 2012, the police visited his mother's house and informed her that he had run away at 7 am from police custody. The police reported that Mr Pariyar was left without handcuffs under the watch of a single police constable and that he had run away when the police constable went to the toilet. That day the police scattered looking for him but could not find him.
Mr Pariyar's family members have also reported having looked for him everywhere and asked all their relatives about him but to no avail. Mr Pariyar has not contacted his family or any of his relatives since then.
On 19 September, 11 days after Mr Pariyar is said to have run away from custody, the police informed his family members that he had allegedly drowned in the Rapti river while being chased by policemen on 8 September 2012.
One fisherman who was fishing on the Rapti river on 8 September confirmed that he saw a man in police uniform stuck in the river at around 1 pm on that day and he later learnt the officer had been dispatched to chase Mr Pariyar. Nevertheless, the fisherman did not see Mr Pariyar. Another resident testified that on 8 September a young man he did not know came to his house, asked the way to the bus station and left. After the young man left, police officers arrived, asked about him and followed in the direction in which he had gone. The children of the village later saw him hiding in a maize field after seeing the police officers and heading towards the river. The villagers were later told that that young man was Mr Pariyar and that he had disappeared in the river.
Superintendent of Police Bikram Singh Thapa from the District Police Office, Banke, informed human rights defenders that an investigation team had been formed under the command of Police Inspector Harka Bahadur Rawal. The constable who had been in charge of watching Mr Pariyar when he escaped has been detained in the DPO and is under investigation for neglecting his duties.
As of 17 October 2012, more than a month after Mr Pariyar disappeared from the police station his whereabouts remain unknown.
The AHRC is of the opinion that it is the responsibility of the police to cast light upon the circumstances leading to the disappearance of Mr Pariyar. If the investigation concludes that he indeed drowned into the river, further inquiry is necessary to determine the circumstances leading to his death and whether the police officers chasing him are criminally responsibility.
SUGGESTED ACTION: Please join us in writing to the authorities listing below, calling on them to ensure the protection of the rights of Mr Chhaudari.
Please be informed that the AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention calling for their intervention into this matter.
To support this appeal, please click here:
Related Nepal News