SC orders police to arrest murder-convict Dhungel within 7 days

April 14, 2017 05:30 AM Republica


“This order has been issued in the name of IGP of Nepal Police to arrest Dhungel within seven days by mobilizing all forces under him, and to submit a report to the court after presenting him before the jail concerned,” reads the court order. 

KATHMANDU, April 14: The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the police to arrest fugitive murder-convict Balkrishna Dhungel within seven days and present him before the prison authority concerned.
 
Acting on a writ petition filed by advocate Dinesh Tripathi, a single bench of justice Ananda Mohan Bhattarai issued an arrest warrant against the CPN (Maoist Center) leader and former lawmaker Dhungel, who was convicted in the murder of Ujjan Kumar Shrestha.
 
“This order has been issued in the name of IGP of Nepal Police to arrest Dhungel within seven days by mobilizing all forces under him, and to submit a report to the court after presenting him before the jail concerned,” reads the court order. 

The apex court said that police had been forwarding the court order to the lower bodies instead of searching for him. Despite repeated orders from the court to arrest him, the Maoist leader has been avoiding police for more than eight years.

Although police have been claiming that Dhungel is absconding, one of his photos being honored in a civic felicitation function in his home district Okhaldhunga had become public last month. This had raised a question if the police organization was committed to honoring the court verdict.

Separately, the court has ordered the police administration to issue court summons to Dhungel in another writ petition against Dhungel over contempt of court. The court has also summoned Dungel for his recent statement against the chief justice and Supreme Court justices. 

Ruling CPN (Maoist Center) and other Maoist parties have been exerting pressure on the security agencies not to arrest Dhungel. They maintain that insurgency-era cases like that of Dhungel should be dealt with by transitional justice processes. 

Earlier, both the Okhaldhunga District Court and the Supreme Court had given Dhungel life imprisonment along with confiscation of his property, after convicting him in the insurgency-era murder of Ujjan Kumar Shrestha.

The victim family has been fighting for justice since a decade, demanding punishment against Dhungel and other Maoist cadres involved in the murder. 

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