Juglal Tharu, a 15-year-old (the AHRC has received copy of his birth certificate as verification), and Mr. Maneshor Tharu, a 28-year-old, are residents of ward number 5, Binauna VDC, Banke District. The two have been arrested and unlawfully detained since 14 October 2014. During this time, they have been tortured by the police that has been seeking to extract a confession regarding the murder of Lal Bahadur Chaudhari, a 65-year-old member of the Nepali Congress Village Committee, Bilauniya, who was found dead on October 14th.
At around 11 p.m. on the night of October 14th, the police from the Area Police Office Binauna arrested the two victims from their respective homes and took them to the station. No sufficient grounds for suspicion were given.
The Area Police Office Bilauniya handed them over to the Area Police Office Kohalpur, Banke District, on 15 October 2014. Mr. Janak Bahadur Shahi, the District Superintendent of Police (DSP), of the Area Police Office Kohalpur, Banke District gave the orders to torture both prisoners and force them to provide a confession to the crime. He also threatened them with electric shocks if they refused. Three unidentified police officers slapped them 25-30 times on their cheeks. Their legs were tied with a white cloth, with a short piece of bamboo wedged in, which they were asked to hold. While in this position, they were beaten with a big stick. The officers only stopped the torture when Juglal, unable to even stand up, collapsed. He could not stand properly for 3 days.
Juglal and Maneshor were kept in custody for 7 days, without being produced in court within 24 hours of arrest, as required by law. The police finally registered a civil offence case against them including 2 more, Godiya Tharu, a 51-year-old and Sukkhan Tharu, a 35-year-old, on 21 October 2014. Every day they were taken into a room where they saw a signboard written “Investigation Section”. DSP Shahi also used to utter foul words like “motherfuckers” and “murderers”, among others. He continued to use his constables to beat them into taking responsibility for the murder.
The police also used threats to warn them not to talk about the torture to anyone. However, a group of human rights activists were able to meet the victims on 22 October 2014. A police person (name withheld to maintain his safety and privacy) from the Area Police Office Kohalpur, admitted that the victims were arrested due to massive political pressure exerted by the Nepali Congress, which is running the current government. DSP Shahi is a supporter of the Nepali Congress. According to the police officer, the DSP is planning to register a murder case against the two victims in retaliation for reporting the torture to human rights activists. Chakra Bahadur also requested human rights activists to save them from such inhuman behavior.
Mr. Lal Bahadur Tharu, brother of Juglal Tharu, registered an appeal at the District Court, Banke, on 22 October 2014, asking for treatment of the wounds sustained during police torture. The victims are waiting for justice but the police are planning to register a fake murder case against the victim to obfuscate their own crimes.