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Dekendra murder case formally reaches court

  Office of the District Attorney seeks life imprisonment for nine accused

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

SURKHET: The Office of the District Attorney, Dailekh, today filed a case at Dailekh District Court against nine persons accused of murdering journalist Dekendra Thapa in 2004.

“We have filed a murder case against nine persons on the basis of a report prepared by District Police Office. As Tuesday is a public holiday, preliminary hearing on the case will begin on Wednesday,” said District Attorney Dambar Kafle.

The case has been filed as per Section 13 (3) of the murder chapter of Muluki Ain, and the Office of the District Attorney has sought life imprisonment for the accused and confiscation of all their property.

Of the nine accused, Lakshiram Gharti Magar, Nirak Bahadur Gharti Magar, Bir Bahadur KC, Harilal Pun Magar and Jaya Bahadur Shahi were arrested in the first week of January. Other four are still at large but the court has been asked to issue a warrant against them. The murder accused on the run are Bam Bahadur Khadka (Arun) and Keshav Khadka of Chhiudi Pusakot, Bam Bahadur Khadka (Mukti) of Katti and Bhaktiram Lamichhane of Dwari.

According to investigating officer Binod Sharma, all the necessary documents, including the DNA report of Thapa’s exhumed skeleton, have been submitted to the Office of the District Attorney. “We had collected some 68 evidences in about 20 days in connection with the murder case,” said Inspector Sharma.

Maoist cadres on June 26, 2004, had invited journalist Thapa, saying they wanted to discuss some issues related to drinking water and had murdered him on August 11 that year. Four days after the murder, the then Maoist district secretary Chhabilal Shahi had issued a statement and tried to justify Thapa’s murder, levelling as many as 10 charges against him.

Four years later, Thapa’s wife Laxmi on August 28, 2008, had filed an FIR at District Police Office, Dailekh, against five persons.

Investigation into the case had hit a snag following Attorney General Mukti Pradhan’s order on January 11 to stop interrogation of the murder accused. A writ was filed on January 13 against the attorney general’s move in the apex court seeking court intervention .

Investigation then had resumed after a Supreme Court order on January 15 to district attorney and police not to halt the justice process.

Arrested

• Lakshiram Gharti Magar

• Nirak Bahadur Gharti Magar

• Bir Bahadur KC

• Harilal Pun Magar

• Jaya Bahadur Shahi

On the run

• Bam Bahadur Khadka (Arun)

• Bam Bahadur Khadka (Mukti)

• Keshav Khadka

• Bhaktiram Lamichhane

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