One of Sadrul Miya Haque’s employees who went to see him on Tuesday morning walked in on a gruesome scene of the 55-year-old Constituent Assembly member lying in a pool of blood with his throat slit open and various body parts butchered, in a room above his petrol pump.
The murder has stirred protests among the Muslim community in Nepal. In response, the government has formed a panel to investigate the murder and submit a report within seven days.
“It appears that every time a Muslim gets popular, or reaches a high position in this country, their fate is to get murdered,” said Mohammed Nizamuddin, senior vice-chairman, Muslim Association of Nepal, speaking at a rally in Kalyanpur, Saptari district. Thousands of supporters of the slain Mr. Haque felled hundreds of trees, burnt tyres and paralysed public transport in Saptari and surrounding districts. Their demand: the Home Minister should personally come to Saptari and assure a full investigation; else the family won’t bury the corpse.
“Nepali Muslims are paying the price of conflict between India and Pakistan,” Mr. Nizamuddin added. In September 2011, Faizal Ahmed, general secretary of Islamic Sangh Nepal, was assassinated in broad daylight near Ghantaghar, at the heart of the capital, a fate met a more than a year earlier by Jamim Shah, a prominent media entrepreneur.
“However, no evidence has surfaced that Mr. Haque’s murder is connected with the previous assassinations,” according to police sources.
Born into poverty, Mr. Haque, in 2008, won Constituent Assembly (CA) election as an independent. At the CA, he was part of a group-of-four who regularly disrupted proceedings demanding rights for Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims. He single-handedly brought the CA to a halt and was once suspended from the Assembly. Mr. Haque is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.
“We don’t think, for now, that the murder was due to monetary reasons, but we do think the murderer might be somebody he knew,” said Mr. Kesh Bahadur Shahi, a DIG at the Central Investigation Bureau guiding the investigations, “It seems he was a good man. For now, we’re investigating his pattern of activities in the last five years.”