The Nagarkot massacre was an act of mass
murder that occurred on December 14, 2005 at the Kali Devi temple in
Chihandanda near Nagarkot, Nepal. Off-duty RNA sergeant Basudev Thapa
(वासुदेव थापा), 26, indiscriminately shot at villagers, celebrating at
the temple, with an assault rifle, killing 11 and injuring 19 more,
before he himself was shot by his fellow soldiers. The shooting was
said to be sparked by an argument between Thapa and some of the
While nearly 250 villagers were celebrating Mangsir
Purnima at the Kali Devi temple in Chihandanda an argument broke out
between Sergeant Basudev Thapa, stationed at the Nagarkot barrack, and
youths from the nearby Pipalbot village with whom he had a long-standing
enmity. When the youths began to beat him up, the allegedly drunk
soldier attacked one of them with a knife. Yelling "I'll come back and
kill you all" Thapa, bruised from the fight, drove off in his
motorcycle and returned to the barracks, where he armed himself with
an L1A1 SLR. Although he was off-duty at that time, Thapa was allowed
to leave the barracks with the gun without fulfilling any formality.
After about half an hour, at 11.30 p.m., Thapa and
three of his colleagues returned to the temple grounds. He fired a few
shots in the air, before shooting indiscriminately at the people who
were trying to seek refuge within the temple from the gunman.
Though many initial news reports named 12 civilians
killed, the official report states that only 11 people were shot to
death and 19 others wounded by the more than 200 shots fired, before
Thapa himself was killed. According to RNA statements, Thapa committed
suicide, though many witnesses said that he was killed by one of his
colleagues, while he was still firing at the villagers. An
investigation of Thapa's body found that he died of a chest wound that
could not possibly have been self-inflicted, thus contradicting the
- Ram Lal Nagarkoti, 40
- Nani Nagarkoti, 19, daughter of Ram Lal Nagarkoti
- Chola Kanta Panta
- Sujan Shreshta
- Aaite Tamang
- Bhagwan Tamang
- Dipak Tamang, 5
- Dhamai Singh Tamang, 11
- Kale Tamang
- Maya Tamang
- Niru Tamang
The next day the RNA commenced to clean the crime
scene, deliberately destroying evidence, presumably in an attempt to
cover up the incident. When a second rifle was found in a pool about
60 metres away from Thapa's body, questions arose if there might have
been a second gunman.
In consequence human rights activists and
opposition parties, as well as the people from Nagarkot demonstrated,
demanding an impartial investigation and denouncing frequent human
rights violations by and severe corruptness and indiscipline within
the RNA. As a response the government formed a three-member judicial
commission to investigate the incident and proposed to pay
compensations of 150,000 Nepalese rupees to each of the victims
families and to bear the expenses for treating the injured. Further
the RNA also established a probe committee to scrutinise the massacre.
The official report was released on January 3, 2006
and stated, that "Thapa committed suicide by shooting himself and no
evidence was found of the involvement of any other person except Thapa
in the incident". Further it was noted that Thapa had a history of
indiscipline and obstructing work and that the leading officer of the
Nagarkot barracks had failed to maintain discipline among his
personnel. The report also recommended to compensate the victims and
their families and to take care of their education and livelihood.
Victims of the massacre protested several times in
Kathmandu, because of the passivity of the government in providing the
compensations recommended by the probe committee.
'Angered' Nepalese soldier kills 11 civilians
December 15, 2005
A Nepalese soldier ended an
argument with a group of villagers by spraying them with bullets,
killing at least 11 people and sparking protests, officials and
eyewitness said today.
The Himalayan country's military
has been repeatedly accused of violating human rights in its fight
against Maoist rebels, and the killings late yesterday had by early
today drawn some 200 protesters to the hospital where the 19 injured
Hours later, around 15,000
protesters led by an alliance of seven political parties marched
through Kathmandu demanding the country's king restore democracy and
condemning the killings.
"We want democracy," the
protesters shouted, carrying banners and red and white party flags.
The rally had been planned previously, but quickly turned into a
protest against the killings.
Since King Gyanendra seized
absolute power earlier this year, saying he needed total control to
defeat Maoist rebels, the army has faced stepped-up criticism from
human rights groups for using excessive force and killing civilians.
Several officials and soldiers
have been punished by the army for committing abuses and murder.
But many say officials have not
"Our alliance condemns the
killing and the attempt to cover up the massacre at Nagarkot," the
village where the shooting took place, said Bharat Yadav, a member of
the Nepal Sadbhavna Party.
"This autocratic regime is
responsible for the massacre," Narayan Man Bijuchche of the Nepal
Workers and Peasants Party.
The parties have called for a
general strike in Kathmandu tomorrow to protest at the killing.
The Royal Nepalese Army confirmed
the shooting and identified the soldier as Basudev Thapa, who it said
was killed in the incident without elaborating.
The army also said an
investigation had been launched and a report would be prepared within
the next three days.
Details of the shooting were
scant, but villagers said the soldier may have been drunk and had
gotten into an argument with some villagers near Nagarkot, about 15
miles northeast of Kathmandu.
"He returned at night with a gun
and started firing," said Santa Bahadur Tamang, who lost his 30-year-old
nephew in the shooting.
Tamang, who was protesting
outside the hospital, said villagers first heard a single shot
followed by continuous firing.
Initial reports from the military
said soldiers could have opened fire after mistaking the villagers for
The rebels, who say they are
inspired by Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong, have been
fighting since 1996 to topple Nepal's monarchy and establish a
communist state. About 12,000 people have died in the insurgency.