Friday, 7 March 2014

Graveyard skull thefts worry Muslims

The Muslim community in the district has expressed serious concern over the increasing incidence of unidentified tomb raiders digging up graves in the cemetery used by the community.

According to community members, some unidentified smugglers of human skulls are desecrating the only Muslim burial ground located at Bidur Municipality- 10.

Mahomad Jafar, a Muslim community member, informed that around a dozen graves in the cemetery were dug up, apparently by human skull traffickers. He also said that in a fresh incident the smugglers have made off with two skulls they dug up from the burial ground on Wednesday.

“Human skulls have been disappearing from our community graveyard since the last seven years. We complained to the police but despite their word that investigations would be initiated, the smugglers continue to dig up the graves,” Jafar said.

According to Jafar, the skull snatchers had dug up bodies buried just eight months ago. And it is not only the Muslim graveyard. A Christian cemetery in the district also faces incidents of human skull theft.

Last year alone, the tomb raiders made off with 10 skulls that they dug up at the Christian community´s burial ground at Chihandanda in Tupche VDC. The grave diggers are said to be active during nighttime.

The Muslim community´s burial ground extending over two ropanis of land has only a simple wire fence. Mahomad Alam, another community member, alleged that the police are procrastinating over investigations despite repeated requests from the community.

“We have been pressing the police and administration to start investigations into the incidents of tomb raid. But the police promise only to step up security, rather than start investigations,” said Alam, adding that community members want the smugglers to be brought to book.

He also opined that the graveyard will not be safe until and unless the skull snatchers are nabbed.

However, police said that an investigation into the skulls missing from the Muslim burial ground has already started.

“Investigations into the missing human skulls from the burial ground has already started. We have been maintaining special surveillance around the graveyard and stepping up security patrolling,” said Inspector Kushan Kumar Basnet.

“Digging up of graves and excavation of human skulls constitute a grave crime,” he added.

With the increasing incidents of graveyard theft, community members have started to install barbed wire around the graveyard, along with electricity, to make it more secure.

Friday 07 March 2014


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