KATHMANDU, June 2: The murder of Supreme Court Justice Rana Bahadur Bam in broad daylightt is most complicated and poses a hard challenge for investigators, officials said.
“This is a very meticulously planned crime and we are grappling with our primary readings of the case,” said AIG Kuber Rana, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, who heads a high-profile panel probing the murder.
The panel started work at its command station at Ranipokhari on Friday. “We are looking into several dynamics of the case but the scope of our investigations are wide. Given some progress, we will narrow it down,” said DIG Upendra Kant Aryal, chief of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) and a member of the panel.
What astounds police officials is the way the attack on the SC justice was orchestrated. He was fatally shot at Sankhamul on Wednesday morning on his way to office. His bodyguard, Police Assistant Inspector Mahesh Giri, was also shot, along with Bam´s friend Ram Giri.
Bam was with the two Giris in his white government car driven by Asta Lama, who survived the incident without injury.
Two assailants on a motorcycle stopped the car at a point where escape from the attack was difficult but from where a getaway was easier.
The assailants shot Bam repeatedly even as the latter tried to run after taking a couple of hits while still inside the car. Bam was declared dead at Norvic Hospital two hours later.
What puzzles the investigators most is that the assailants attacked Bam even though he was guarded round the clock by a trained and armed bodyguard from the Nepal Police.
“They must have been aware of the bodyguard´s presence. So when they attacked, they first opened fire on the bodyguard,” said an official close to the investigations.
Meanwhile, investigations showed that a suspicious-looking bike found near the incident site was stolen a month ago but it has yielded no clue concerning the shooting.
“It was very clever of the criminals if they used the stolen bike,” said an official.
The place, timing and manner of attack showed that Bam´s movements were closely watched for several days and the attackers were handy with firearms, officials added.
Leaflets of a certain Nepalbad Party were found in the site. Officials, however, see that as a trick to confuse the picture.