[This news article has been translated from Nepali into English by Shalini Gupta, a volunteer of Madhesi Youth. It originally appeared in Nepali newspaper Kantipur daily with title “आन्दोलनमा गोली नचलाउन अन्तरिम आदेश“, dated Bhadra 29, 2072 (September 15, 2015).]
Supreme Court Issues Interim Order to Not Shoot During Protests
1. The Prime Minister’s Office,
2. The Council of Ministers,
3. The Ministry of Home Affairs,
4. Nepal Police, and
5. National Human Rights Commission
Sept 15, 2015 -The Supreme Court has issued an interim order, addressed to the Nepali state, to not take lives of protesters by shooting during political protests. Responding to a complaint filed on Tuesday by the wife of one of the victims, Judges Baidyanath Upadhyay and Deepakraj Joshi jointly ordered the State to safeguard the constitutional right to life.
Jakir Miya Hussain, husband of Bismillah Khatoon, is undergoing treatment in Bir Hospital from injuries sustained in his neck region. He was shot by the District Police during the Terai-Madhesh protests in Birgunj. On 3rd September, 2015, Khatoon filed a complaint stating the cases of deaths incurred from shooting by Police in Terai districts.
The Prime Minister’s Office, the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Nepal Police and the National Human Rights Commission were stated as defendants in the filed complaint.
The complaint sought an enforcement of Local Administration Act-2028, Clause (6), sub-clause (b). Since the complaint violate both the constitutional and international human right laws, the Supreme Court has issued an interim order to all the defendants and demanded that they refrain from controlling protests in ways that put the lives of people at risk.
The Order is to follow the procedures of crowd control stated in the clause mentioned above in the Local Administration Act.
The clause states that during crowd control, the Security Personnel must first give a warning, and only move to “lathi-charge” if the warning is not heeded. If the conditions during riots worsen, water cannons may be used, with tear gas being the last resort.
The law further states that if the crowd is still not controlled, air firing should be done. In cases when even air firing fails to control the crowd and there is no alternative to shooting the protesters, they must be shot at below the knee region.
“The Police, however, has not followed these procedures. There are reported cases where police shot protesters directly at their heads and the chest regions which is against the Fundamental right to life in the Interim Constitution, and also against the provisions of the Local Administration Act. “After her husband was shot in the neck region, Bismillah’s complaint has demanded this fundamental right to life be unbreached,” says Attorney Dipendra Jha.
Jha claims that if the Nepal Police continues to target the head and chest regions for shooting, it will not only be a breach of law, but also the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.