15-year-old boy dies in police custody: family claims torture
Kiran Karkidholi, 15, of Mechinagar-6 was found dead while in custody of the Area Police Office in Birtamod, Jhapa, on April 14.
According to the police statement, Kiran had died of suicide by hanging from the toilet ceiling.
Kiran was arrested on April 12 on mobile theft charge. Mohandev Joshi, chief of the Biratnagar based National Human Rights Commission, cited the incident as serious saying children under the age of 18 cannot be held in police custody.
Kiran’s father Ramesh Karkidholi said that there were scars all over his son’s body.
“Initially, police hadn’t informed us about my son’s arrest. After his death, they took the body to Mechi Zonal Hospital in Bhadrapur for post-mortem without our knowledge,” Ramesh said.
Representatives of various human rights-affiliated agencies on Friday found that the main cause of Kiran’s death was physical assault. After a preliminary investigation of the incident site by a team of rights activists, suspicions were raised surrounding Kiran’s death. Bishnu Kharel, a human rights activist, suspected that the boy might have died because of assault.
“Judging by the incident, the deceased couldn’t have hung himself,” said Kharel. Rights activists also published a statement and requested the concerned authorities to form a high level probe committee to investigate into the incident and compensate the victim’s family. SP Dinesh Mainali of Jhapa, however, claimed that the boy committed suicide in police custody and that there was no foul play. “The investigation team will make public the reality of the incident soon,” said Mainali.
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