An National Human Rights team with an unidentified boy it exhumed at Mulkhola, Masanghat in Kavrepalanchowk on Wednesday. Pics by Bikash Karki via the Kathmandu Post
By Kiran Chapagain
The Kathmandu Post (For the record)
MULKHOLA MASANGHAT, Kavre, July 5- For Tirtha Maya Tamang, a local housewife, it took over two years to see the riddle of her spade and shovel solved. Some soldiers on patrol had taken away the tools from her house without permission early one morning. The tools have been missing since then.
But on Wednesday, she came to know that the army had taken her tools to bury the body of a suspected Maoist they had killed earlier that morning – believed to be on February 4, 2004 – as the body was exhumed from a jungle just above her house.
Tirtha Maya Tamang’s house from where the soldiers took spade and shovel to dig the hole.
High voltage drama in the morning of February 4, 2004
It was around 7 am in the morning. The dwellers of Mulkhola Masanghat area, a hamlet, all of a sudden heard firings from all the sides. According to Tirtha Maya Tamang, local people were made to go inside their home. Nobody was allowed to pass though the area then. According to Ram Krishna Shrestha who was traveling in a bus heading to Banepa at the time of firing, buses passing through the area where the body was buried, were stopped by the army. The area was totally cordoned and sealed off. Army personnel were seen coming from four directions in that area and firings were heard from all directions.
After a while, army personnel left the area and headed toward Panauti. Shrestha quoted local people as saying that the army returned saying to the local people thus: “Timerlai dukha dine dui pahuna sidhyaidiu (We finished two of your guests who bother you). Bihan bihannai purnu parcha (We have to bury even in the morning).” The people were then confused over what the army personnel were talking about at that time. Today, locals have understood the meaning of what the army personnel meant as the remains of a man was exhumed.
In its bid to search for people who had disappeared at the hands of the state, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday exhumed the body from a jungle of rhododendron and pine at a height of approximately 1,900 meters.
It took nearly four hours to dig up the body for a team led by NHRC member Sudip Pathak and doctors Harihar Osti and Pramod Shrestha of the Department of Forensic Medicines at the Institute of Medicine, Maharajgunj. Shoes and jacket were in identifiable condition while the flesh had decayed. Locals in the area helped NHRC locate the burial recently. The exercise was carried out in the presence of local people, relatives of Bolakhe and journalists.
NHRC believes the body might be that of Hari Prasad Bolakhe, a 35-year old man from Fulbari VDC-8, some 17 kilometers east from Dhulikhel. “We have to wait for DNA test results before coming to any formal conclusion on whether it is the body of Bolakhe or not,” said Pathak. But Madusudan Satyal who hails from the same village of Bolakhe, said that he knew the body was Bolakhe’s on the basis of the color of the jacket. “He had worn a red jacket on December 27, 2003, when he was arrested from Banepa,” Satyal said.
Satyal and Bolakhe had tea in the morning at Baneshwore before Bolakhe headed for Banepa on that day. Bolakhe’s brother Sagar also said he recognized his brother’s jacket and shoes. Bolakhe, a pastor by profession, has been missing since the arrest. His name also featured in the Narayan Gopal Malego report on disappeared people made public on October 11, 2004. The report said Bolakhe was released after detention on April 20, 2004.
Meanwhile, Gyan Devi, wife of Bolakhe, is still waiting desperately with her four children to see the mystery over her husband’s disappearance solved. NHRC had carried out in January this year a similar exercise for a 15-year girl in Dhading district.
1. Kantipur news on the same incident