CHITWAN, Sept 10: Chitwan District Court on Sunday acquitted 12 people including Chhabi Lal Poudel, one of the main accused in the Maoist insurgency-era murder of Krishna Prasad Adhikari of Fujel, Gorkha.
Of the total 13 people accused in the murder of the teenage boy, the court acquitted 12 defendants saying that the evidence could not establish their involvement in Adhikari's killing. Rudra Acharya, who said to be the prime accused in the case, is absconding.
Acharya is said to be living in the UK. In case of Acharya, the court has said it will deal with the case separately when he is produced before the court. The court said in its verdict that it can't convict the other accused when the prime accused is at large.
A single bench of Judge Kul Prasad Sharma issued the verdict on Sunday. “Since the accusation of murder could not be established against defendants based on just suspicion, they have been acquitted,” states the court order.
Also, the bench has ordered the authorities to release the defendants. Chhabi Lal Poudel, who had surrendered before the Supreme Court in July this year, is still in police custody whereas the other defendants were never taken into custody.
As per the court order, Chhabilal Poudel, Bhimen Poudel, Parshuram Poudel, Kali Prasad Adhikari, Bhim Lal Adhikari, Sita Adhikari, and Meghnath Poudel have been acquitted. Similarly, other defendants Januka Poudel, Subhadra Tiwari, Bishnu Tiwari, and Ram Prasad Adhikari have also received clean chits in the murder case.
Previously, another defendant Ram Prasad Adhikari of Fujel was arrested by the police. He, however, was released after 25 days in custody, citing the delay in investigating the case at the court.
After Adhikari's murder in June 2004, his brother Nur Prasad Adhikari had filed a complaint against 13 local Maoist leaders accusing them of killing his brother, Krishna. Krishna Prasad Adhikari was murdered on June 6, 2004, in Chitwan, where he had come to meet his grandparents. The then Maoist rebels had taken responsibility for the murder.
A year later on December 11, Nur Prasad again filed a charge-sheet categorically pointing out to 13 persons as the murderers of his brother at the same police office.
Krishna Prasad's parents had started fast-unto-death, alleging that the government authorities were reluctant to take action against the killers of their son.
Father of the deceased, Nanda Prasad, who refused to end his protest, too lost his life in the course of his fast-unto-death on September 22, 2014. Nanda Prasad's body is still at the Maharajgunj-based Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital morgue. The Adhikari family has refused to take the body until they get justice.