NEPAL: Ajit Mijar’s death – not suicide, but murder

A fact-finding team of the Dalit Civil Society has concluded that Ajit Mijar, found dead at Kumpur – 3 in Dhading District, did not die as a result of suicide. His was, rather, a staged murder. They have made this declaration in a report, based on the facts and findings collected during their three-day visit to Kavrepalanchowk and Dhading districts. 

Ajit was murdered due to his inter-caste marriage, and the aspect of untouchability and caste-based discrimination related to it. Certain facts have been monitored and confirmed in this fact-finding mission. The Report states that though it has been announced as a suicide, when his body was found, his legs touched the floor. Furthermore, the rope that was used was that of a tent, and fragile, and the rope was not found tied to his neck very tight. Also, the place where his body was found is very close to, and visible from, a police station that has 24 hours’ duty. The police, additionally, have not disclosed who was on duty that day. This screams murder.

The Report also states that Ajit’s family informed the police that they are coming to Dhading to confirm the death, and take Ajit’s body, but the police did not wait for the family members to arrive, and they buried Ajit’s corpse in hurry. Though the police claimed that they buried an unknown corpse, they did not publicize the information, and did not wait for Ajit’s family to arrive in Dhading. All of it seems to have been done in a rush, which showcases mysterious police behavior, and suggests alleged police involvement in a staged murder.

The background is that 18-year-old Ajit Mijar (Dhakal), a Dalit by caste, was found dead on 14 July 2016 in Dhading district of Nepal. Ajit was a resident of Panchkhal Kavre District, who married his non-Dalit girlfriend Kalpana Parajuli, on 9 July 2016. The girl’s relatives and the Area Police Office Panchkhal forced the couple to abandon their marriage. The wedding ceremony had taken place on 9 July 2016. Her relatives forcibly took Kalpana away on 11 July 2016, two days after the marriage, and they threatened to kill Ajit within 72 hours. On July 16, Ajit was found dead, and his body was buried, by the riverbank of Furke Khola, Dhading District, located over 250 km from Panchkhal.

The Dalit Civil Society has demanded that the government form a Comprehensive Investigation Committee, which can investigate this incident free and fairly, without any political and police interference.

The dramatic chain of events leading to Ajit’s death and the recovery of his body suggest direct police involvement in the controversy. An immediate probe must be conducted into this incident, followed by prosecution and punishment of those responsible, as there is a distinct possibility of murder having been committed by Kalpana’s relatives, as well as direct involvement of the police to stage it as a suicide. 
The government of Nepal must change its strategic plans and programs related to the Dalit community and to intercaste marriage, and give utmost priority to the safety and security of Intercaste married couples.

Please click here to download the fact-finding report in Nepali.