Criminal Investigation

Initiative taken by President to save life of Gangamaya and investigate murder of Bhagirathi Bhatta

KATHMANDU: President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to expedite the investigation into the life of Gangamaya Adhikari, who has been on hunger strike for a long time, and the murder of Bhagarathi Bhatta, a teenager from Baitadi who was raped and killed.

During a meeting with newly appointed officials of the Commission at Office of the President, Sheetal Niwas, President Bhandari demanded action against those involved in the murder of Gangamaya’s son Krishna Prasad Adhikari.

Gangamaya has been on hunger strike since December 21. The President also informed that she has been repeatedly drawing the attention of the Government of Nepal on this issue. Gangamaya now has two main demands. The case related to the murder of Krishna Prasad Adhikari, which was appealed by the Government of Nepal to the Patan High Court, should be taken up and the case should not be adjourned. The other demand is to bring alleged murderer Rudra Acharya back and proceed further investigation. The President has also suggested to move towards fulfilling the same demand of Gangamaya.

The government lawyer’s office had filed a case against 13 people in the Chitwan district court on the charge of killing Krishna Prasad. The accused Bhimsen Poudel and Parshuram Poudel were arrested and released on bail due to protests against the then UCPN leader. A petition filed by the government in the Patan High Court for review of the case is currently under consideration. Rudra Acharya is currently in Ireland.

The Government of Nepal may write a letter to the British Government, regarding not torturing Acharya, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seems to be ready in this regard.

On behalf of the Government of Nepal, the then Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Narahari Acharya signed a three-point agreement with Gangamaya stating that he would take up the case, bring Rudra Acharya back to Nepal and provide financial assistance for her livelihood. Accordingly, after the formation of the current government, the amount was deposited in Gangamaya’s account and the amount including interest is currently in her account at Rs 11.7 million. Due to disagreement with her son Nur Prasad, the money could not be used to buy a house for her.

“As a constitutional organ, the commission can play a role in providing assurance to Gangamaya on the fulfilment of her demands by coordinating with concerned ministries of the Government of Nepal. Her life can be saved by telling her clearly that the government is ready to take the case forward and bring Rudra Acharya to Nepal,” said President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, “Nanda Prasad’s body is still in the mortuary of the teaching hospital. No cremation has taken place. The commission can also play a role in this.” 

A team of human rights activists met with CA Chairman Subash Nemwang and Attorney General Agni Kharel on 8th February 2021 and suggested that the government lawyer should be vigilant in advancing legal proceedings. The Attorney General’s response towards the case is positive.

During the meeting, the President also requested the commission to provide necessary assistance to expedite the ongoing investigation into the case of Bhagirathi Bhatta, a recent victim of murder after rape from Baitadi. Commission officials informed that a team has been deployed from the Dhangadhi-based office to conduct on-site monitoring and has reached the location of the crime.

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