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ACTION URGENTE

 

NEPAL

 

11 May  2008

 

Sushil Kumar Lakhe

a well known human rights lawyer and the regional coordinator of the Nepalgunj office of Advocacy Forum, a prominent human rights organization in Nepal

 victim of an illegal house search by the police in Banke district

  Source  :  

AHRC

 

On 11 May 2008. Sushil Kumar Lakhe is a well known human rights lawyer in the area as well as the regional coordinator of the Nepalgunj office of Advocacy Forum, a prominent human rights organization in Nepal was victim of an illegal house search by the police in Banke district

At around 6:20pm on 11 May 2008, about 10 policemen, including a police head constable Nar Bahadur Baigwar and a police constable Dubar Yadav, who were from the temporary Police Post of Fultekra in Banke district came to the house of a human rights lawyer Mr. Sushil Kumar Lakhe located in Nepalgunj Municipality ward no. 6, Fultekra, Banke district, Nepal. The policemen then searched his home without producing any search warrant. Mr. Lakhe was on the way home to meet with five 5 visitors. His wife and son was at home at the time.  

According to Mr. Lakhe's family, the policemen scattered in front their house for a while. The police head constable Nar Bahadur Baigwar and the police constable Dubar Yadav then entered Mr. Lakhe's house and searched his room. They opened a drawer of Mr. Lakhe's desk and looked at all the documents. Mr. Lakhe's son asked the police for the reason of the house search but the police did not reply. According to the family, the police neither produced a search warrant nor gave them a reason for the house search

After searching Mr. Lakhe's room for about five minutes, the policemen left his house. However, they took the five visitors into custody without producing an arrest warrant. The police also failed to provide a reason for their arrest. The five persons were released shortly afterwards and before being taken to the police station.

Upon learning of the incident, Mr. Lakhe called to the Superintendent of Police [SP] Mr. Ghanashyam Bhatta of the Banke District Police Office (DPO) as well as Sub Inspector of Police Govinda Rokka of the temporary Police Post in Fultekra to make inquiries. They denied that the police had been to his house.

 Prior to this incident, 2 unidentified persons riding a red motorbike followed him from near the Laliguras Hotel of New Road in Nepalgunj municipality at around 9:40pm on May 2, when he was returning home on his bike. When he reached Dewafulbari of Nepalgunj, he heard them saying, "this man says himself as a human rights defender and we have to finish him". He was able to escape from them by taking a different route. He stayed in a safe place overnight and went home on the following day.

On the afternoon of May 2, Mr. Lakhe accompanied a widow who wanted to file a First Information Report (FIR) against the army commanders at the Banke DPO office regarding the killing of her husband Kamal Dahal. Despite the repeated requests and arguments made by Mr. Lakhe, the Banke DPO refused to register the FIR of the widow on that day. However, the FIR was finally registered at the Kohalpur Area Police Station in Banke district on May 4.

To briefly explain about Kamal Dahal's killing, on 1 January 2002: Kamal Dahal, who was a teacher at that time, was picked up from the school premises by army personnel led by Major Ajit Thapa and Captain Ramesh Swar from the Bhimkali Battalion in Banke district. On the following day, a local radio station announced that he had been killed by the army during an encounter. However, his family members have not received any detailed information about his death and the location of his body.   

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write to the local authorities listed below and express your serious concern about this case. Please urge them to inquire about the illegal house search of the victim by the police and to take action against those guilty police officers.

Support this appeal, please

SAMPLE LETTER:

 

 

Dear __________,

NEPAL: Police illegally searched one human rights lawyer's house in Banke district

Name of victim: Mr. Sushil Kumar Lakhe, aged 52, a human rights lawyer as well as the regional coordinator of the Advocacy Forum Regional Office, Nepalgunji in Banke district, the resident of Nepalgunj Municipality ward no. 6, Fultekra, Banke district, Nepal


Alleged perpetrators:
1. Police Head Constable Mr. Nar Bahadur Baigwar attached to the temporary Police Post of Fultekra in Banke district, Nepal
2. Police Constable Mr. Dubar Yadav attached to the temporary Police Post of Fultekra
3. Other 7-8 police personnel attached to the temporary Police Post of Fultekra
Date of incident: At around 6:20pm on 11 May 2008
Place of incident: The victim's house in Nepalgunj Municipality ward no. 6, Fultekra, Banke district, Nepal

I am deeply concerned by the illegal house search of a human rights defender Mr. Sushil Kumar Lakhe by the police in Banke district on 11 May 2008. Mr. Lakhe is a well known human rights lawyer in the area as well as the regional coordinator of the Nepalgunj office of the Advocacy Forum, a prominent human rights organization in Nepal.

According to the information I have received, at around 6:20pm on 11 May 2008, about 10 policemen, including a police head constable Nar Bahadur Baigwar and a police constable Dubar Yadav, who were from the temporary Police Post of Fultekra in Banke district illegally searched the house of Mr. Sushil Kumar Lakhe in Nepalgunj Municipality ward no. 6, Fultekra, Banke district, Nepal. The policemen neither produced a house search warrant nor gave a reason for the house search to the family members. In particular, the police head constable Nar Bahadur Baigwar and the police constable Dubar Yadav entered Mr. Lakhe's house and searched his room. They opened a drawer of Mr. Lakhe's desk and looked at all the documents in there.

I am informed that the police illegally arrested five visitors from Mr. Lakhe's home. The police did not either give the reason for their arrest or produce the arrest warrant. However, the five persons arrested were released shortly afterwards without being taken to the police station.

I am also informed that when Mr. Lakhe contacted the Superintendent of Police [SP] Mr. Ghanashyam Bhatta of the Banke District Police Office (DPO) as well as Sub Inspector of Police Govinda Rokka of the temporary Police Post in Fultekra, they denied that the police went to his house. 

I am deeply concerned by the fact that this is not an isolated incident threatening his security. I have learned that at night of 2 May 2008, 2 unidentified persons riding a red motorbike followed him from nearby Laliguras Hotel of New Road in Nepalgunj municipality with an intention of attacking him. When he reached Dewafulbari of Nepalgunj, he heard their saying, "this man says himself as a human rights defender and we have to finish him". He could escape from the scene by taking different roots

In fact on the afternoon of May 2, Mr. Lakhe accompanied a widow whose husband was the victim of a forced disappearance, in order to assist her to file the First Information Report (FIR) against the army commanders at the Banke DPO office. Despite the repeated requests and arguments made by Mr. Lakhe, the Banke DPO refused to register the FIR of the widow on that day. On the night of the same day the above incident took place when he was on the way back home. Meanwhile, the FIR of the said case was finally registered at the Kohalpur Area Police Station in Banke district on May 4.

I am informed that Mr. Lakhe feels insecure and worries about his security due to the series of these recent incidents mentioned above. I am suspicious that there might be a reason behind of this incident to discourage Mr. Lakhe from doing human rights work.

I therefore strongly urge you to promptly order a thorough inquiry into the illegal house search by the police on Mr. Lakhe's house and take action against those guilty officers if this allegation is found to be true. I also request you to conduct an investigation into the attempted attack on the victim by the unknown persons on May 2 and arrest those responsible as soon as possible.

I look for your urgent intervention into this matter.

 
      
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Yagya Murti Banjade
Attorney General
Office of Attorney General
Ramshahpath
Kathmandu
NEPAL
Fax: +977 1 4262582
E-mail: attorney@mos.com.np 

2. Mr. Om Bikram Rana
Inspector General of Police
Police Head Quarters, Naxal
Kathmandu
NEPAL
Tel: +977 1 4412432 (Secretary to IGP)
Fax: +977 1 4415593
E-mail: ranaob@nepalpolice.gov.np or info@nepalpolice.gov.np 

3. Mr. Krishna Sitaula
Home Minister
Ministry of Home Affairs
Singha Darbar, Kathmandu
NEPAL
Fax: +977 1 4211232

4. Mr. Kedar Nath Upadhaya
Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission
Pulchowck, Lalitpur
NEPAL
Fax: +977 1 55 47973
E-mail: complaints@nhrcnepal.org or nhrc@nhrcnepal.org 

5. SSP Mr. Binod Singh
Police HR Cell
Human Rights Cell
Nepal Police
Kathmandu
NEPAL
Fax: +977 1 4415593
E-mail: hrcell@nepalpolice.gov.np 

6. Mr. Krishna Bahadur Mahara
Minister for Information and Communication
Singh Durbar, Kathmandu
Nepal
Tel: +977 1 4228333
Fax: +977 1 4266400
E-mail: moichmg@ntc.net.np 

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrchk.org)

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