The National Human Rights Commission has called the killing of two abductors in Bhaktapur extra-judicial and recommended action against five police personnel including the then DSP with the Metropolitan Police Crime Division Rugma Kunwar.
The NHRC has recommended action against incharge of the 'operation' Kunwar, and Sub-inspectors Dipendra Chand, Prashanna Malla, Ranjit Lama and Rajan Khadka.
The Bhaktapur incident features in the list of violators of human rights that the NHRC is releasing on Friday. "These five police officers are found to have taken the persons involved in the crime under control and shot them dead," an NHRC source told Setopati.
NHRC Chairman Anup Raj Sharma said a statement will be issued prescribing the kind of punishment for the five officers.
Eleven-year-old Nishan Khadka was abducted from Kandaghari in the afternoon on August 5, 2018. The boy was murdered and his body was found in the foundation of an under-construction house in Bhaktapur that night itself.
Alleged abductors Ajay Tamang, 23, of Karthali Sindhupalchowk, and Gopal Tamang, 22, of Samari Nuwakot were killed in 'police operation' the next day.
A photograph was released by the Metropolitan Police Crime Division showing pistols in the hands of the dead Tamangs who worked as painters to show they were killed in a shootout.
While some praised the police for killing the alleged abductors, questions were raised about the police's failure to rescue the boy and whether the killing was extra-judicial.
The then IGP Sarbendra Khanal and Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa stood by the division's claims and reiterated that the two were killed in a shootout with the police and there was no further investigation in the case.
The families of the Tamangs had then moved the NHRC demanding investigation into the case.
The then SSP at the Metropolitan Police Crime Division Dhiraj Pratap Singh, who headed the police investigations, had said the boy could not be saved as he was kidnapped by known persons.
The abductors had called Nishan's mother at around 9 in the night demanding Rs 20 million in ransom. They later lowered the amount to Rs 4 million. They had warned the mother to not report the incident to the police. Singh said the police knew about the incident at around 9:15 in the night.
The abductors apparently got a sniff that the police were informed about the incident. SSP Singh claimed that the abductors murdered the boy to hide the crime after the police initiated search operation in Kandaghari and Bhaktapur. "There was no chance of getting ransom and the police knew about the incident. What could they do to save themselves in such state? The abductors kill the kidnapped person whether they are adults or kids in such situation," Singh argued.
He claimed that Nishan was murdered by midnight.