The Bihar Human Rights Commission (BHRC) on Tuesday termed illegal the handover of a political leader from Nepal to his home country, where he was later killed in 2009.

Ram Narayan Mahto, chief of the Madhesh Rashtra Janatantrik Party-Revolutionary - a radical armed group fighting for an independent state of Terai along Nepal’s southern belt, was killed in an incident of cross-firing in Nepal on July 19, 2009. In 2011, his brother Premlal Mahto petitioned the BHRC, alleging that Sanjay Kumar, the then station house officer of Jainagar police station in Madhubani district, arrested and handed over Ram Narayan to the Nepal police in return for a sum of money. The Nepal police subsequently killed the leader in an encounter, the petitioner alleged.

Following the report of a high-level inquiry, Neelmani BHRC’s acting chairperson ruled that Mr. Kumar effected Ram Narayan’s arrest and “illegally handed him over to Nepal police”. However, he held the Commission did not have the jurisdiction to comment on the alleged police encounter in Nepal.

The Commission ordered that a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to be paid to the family of the deceased should be recovered from Mr. Kumar. It also ordered departmental proceedings against Shiv Pujan Singh, the then sub-divisional police officer (SDPO), Jainagar, “for submitting an incorrect inquiry report against Mr. Kumar.”

Ram Narayan’s handover came in the backdrop of similar such incidents. Leaders of the Terai region were on target under the brief Maoist rule that ended in 2009. The neighbouring nation was using lower functionaries in the Bihar police to apprehend and illegally take political leaders to Nepal and later “liquidating” them, authoritative sources told The Hindu. The State police had also issued instructions to district police officials against such activities of the lower police functionaries.

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