SURKHET, Jan 29: Amid the ongoing tussle between the government and oppositon parties over the investigation into the Dekendra Thapa murder case, the District Police Office, Dailekh on Monday filed a case against nine Maoist cadres on the charge of kidnapping and murdering Thapa, a Dailekh-based Radio Nepal reporter, eight years ago.
According to inspector Binod Sharma, who is investigating the case, Dailekh police filed the case under the Section 13 (3) of the civil code (Muluki Ain) at Dailekh distrcit court against the nine accused, four of whom are still at large.
Bam Bahadur Khadka ´Arun´, Bam Bahadur Khadka ´Mukti´, Keshav Khadka and Mukti Ram Lamichhane are yet to be arrested. As of now, only Lachhi Ram Gharti, Nirak Bahadur Gharti, Jay Bahadur Shahi, Hari Lal Pun and Bir Bahadur KC, all from Dailekh, have been nabbed by the police.
The Dailekh police have demanded life imprisonment with property attachment for all the nine accused. Although six more Maoist cadres are now implicated in the murder of Thapa, the Dailekh police have not mentioned their names in the case, saying that ´they are yet to complete the investigation.”
The Dailekh police had to extend the remand of the five accused twice due to obstacles created by the government in recording of their statements. Apparently at the behest of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Attorney General (AG) Mukti Pradhan had instructed Dailekh police and Dailekh´s District Attorney´s Office to stop recording of statements of the accused as ´it would be against Comprehensive Peace Agreement-2006.” It was only after the Supreme Court (SC), responding to a writ petition filed by advocate Govinda Prasad Sharma ´Bandi´, directed the government not to stop the statement-recording that the Dailekh police resumed the halted investigation.
After filing the case at the district court, inspector Sharma said he nearly lost his job just because he tried to ensure justice for Thapa´s family. It was Sharma who had arrested five of the accused in the Thapa murder case three weeks ago. Although Thapa´s wife Laxmi had filed a case against only four Maoist cadres, the police had concluded that more people were involved in Thapa´s murder.
Thapa was allegedly abducted by Maoist caders in August, 2004, when the country was still going through insurgency. He was later found murdered. One of the accused arrested by the police has revealed that they ´buried Thapa alive´. Inspector Sharma says all five Maoist cadres have admitted to their involvement in Thapa´s kidnapping and murder.