World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Killed For Gathering Snails In National Park: Indigenous Man Beaten To Death By Soldiers

Others have houses burnt down by park rangers

Raj Kumar Chepang © Rajes Ghimire, Kantipur Daily News

A Chepang indigenous man in Nepal has reportedly been killed by soldiers after collecting snails in Chitwan National Park.

Park authorities and soldiers have also burnt down some Chepang houses and destroyed others, leaving ten families homeless during the monsoon.

Raj Kumar Chepang, 24, died on July 22 from what are believed to be injuries inflicted by soldiers who beat and tortured him and four friends for entering the National Park without permission.

Raj Kumar’s mother, Aaitimaya Chepang, said: “My son was beaten to death. I need justice for this inhuman act.” She added: "Raj Kumar's biggest crime was that he could not see his family starving and went to search for food in the jungle."

The families whose homes were burnt down reported that they were not even given a chance to rescue food, money and vital documents before their homes were torched.

This brutal and forced eviction, which has left ten families homeless during the monsoon and global pandemic has drawn widespread criticism.

A Chepang family stand in the remains of their house after it was burnt down by officials of Chitwan National Park, Nepal, during the monsoon. © Raju Chaudhary/Survival

Local Tharu indigenous activist Birendra Mahato condemned both the killing and the destruction of the Chepang houses and asked why none of the international NGOs working in the area, like WWF and ZSL, have spoken out against these atrocities. He said: “They say they help the communities, but they’re only serious about the wild animals, they don’t care about the human rights of the people.”

Turning a blind eye to human rights violations is nothing new for conservation organizations in Nepal and elsewhere. When Shikharam Chaudhary, a Tharu man, was beaten to death by rangers in Chitwan National Park in 2006, far from speaking out against the abuse, WWF Nepal instead demanded the charges against the guards be dropped.

Survival’s Senior Researcher, Sophie Grig said: “These are horrific acts which should be roundly condemned, and swiftly punished. Unfortunately, none of it comes as a surprise to those watching colonial conservation in practice across the world. These atrocities, which the big conservation organizations like WCS and WWF never denounce, are all too common and have to be stopped.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>

UN: Horn Of Africa Faces Most ‘Catastrophic’ Food Insecurity In Decades, Warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines of the last 70 years... More>>

FAO: Warns 90 Per Cent Of Earth’s Topsoil At Risk By 2050
A full 90 per cent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO...

Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>

Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>