KATHMANDU, Dec 6: Twenty-four individuals have been sentenced to life imprisonment by the District Court of Rukum West for their involvement in the murder of six people, including Nabaraj BK, in the Soti village of Chaurjahari Municipality-8 in Rukum West.
The incident occurred due to an inter-caste love affair, where the perpetrators sought to drive BK away from his non-Dalit girlfriend. All 23 individuals, including a minor, were held in pre-trial detention and sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing of six people, including Nabaraj BK.
Of the 11 individuals not in pre-trial detention, one will also face life imprisonment. Additionally, two others have been sentenced to two years in prison and fined 50,000 for the crime of untouchability.
The verdict stipulates that the convicts must pay Rs 40,000, which will be distributed to the deceased's family through proper sharing. Furthermore, eight individuals accused of involvement in the incident have been acquitted.
Those sentenced to imprisonment include Dumbar Bahadur Mall, Dilli Thakuri Mall, Prem Bahadur Thakuri, Santosh Mall, Mohan Pun Magar, Man Bahadur Mall, Top Bahadur Mall, Savit Mall alias Sarvajit, Ird Bahadur Thakuri, Lipendra Kumar Malla, Harak Bahadur Malla, Binod Malla, Netra Bahadur Malla, Resham Bahadur Malla, Dhanaraj Malla, Navin Kumar Gharti Magar, Biraj Pun Magar, Bhim Bahadur Pun, Ramit Pun, and Bishnu Malla.
Similarly, Tularam Gharti, Dilli Gharti, Lokendra Gharti, Saurabh Pun, Bhim Bahadur Budha, Indra Bahadur Malla, Tul Bahadur Malla, and Dipendra Chand are among those who have been acquitted.
On May 23, 2020, 21-year-old BK from Bheri Municipality-4 Rana village of Jajarkot, along with his friends, went to Soti village in Rukum West to take away his girlfriend from a non-Dalit community. During the visit, residents of Soti village, belonging to the non-Dalit community, attacked and killed six people, including BK, while injuring twelve others.
Following a complaint filed by Nabaraj's father, Mun Lal Nepali, a case was registered in the district court on June 14, 2020, against 34 people, including the then ward president of Chaurjahari Municipality-8, Dambar Bahadur Malla. Among them, one teenager's mother was released on bail, ten were released on a normal date, while 23 were remanded in custody.