Congress leader Alam presented before Rautahat District Court
November 5, 2019 12:30 PM NPT
By: Madan Thakur
File photo: Republica
RAUTAHAT, Nov 5: A day after the District Attorney Office filed a case against suspended Nepali Congress lawmaker Mohammad Aftab Alam at the Rautahat District Court for his alleged involvement in committing several murders in Rautahat district in April 2008, the District Police Office presented him before the court to record his statement on Tuesday.
A single bench of Judge Deepak Dhakal will conduct the hearing on the case against Alam once the court records his statement later today. The Rautahat district administration has beefed up security in view of hearing over the case.
Twelve lawyers including senior advocates Yubaraj Sangroula and Dinesh Tripathi are set to present their arguments on behalf of the victims during the hearing, according to advocate Pushpa Raj Poudel who has been helping the victims to move forward the case over the past few years.
Twenty-eight lawyers will present their arguments on behalf of Alam during the court hearing.
Seeking a life imprisonment for Alman and ten others, the DAO, Rautahat, had filed the case against them for their alleged involvement in the case with three criminal charges – use of explosives, murders, and attempted murder — as per the recommendation of the District Police Office, Rautahat, that investigated the 11-year old massacre.
The case was filed against Alam’s brother Mohammad Mahtab Alam, Mohammad Mobin Alam, Sheik Bhadai, Shiekh Seraj, Sheik Fajlehak, Sagir Alam, Sheik Malakar, Gauri Shankar Sah, Badri Sahini, and Mukti Shah. Except Alam, all the accused are on the loose.
Earlier on Friday, the District Police Office (DPO), Rautahat, had submitted an 800-page investigation report to the District Attorney Office after keeping Alam in judicial custody for 20 days.
Alam was arrested on October 13 on the charge of killing dozens of people in a massive blast in Rautahat. It had been learnt that Alam’s men were preparing bombs on the eve of the first Constitution Assembly elections in 2008. The accidental bomb blast reportedly left 14 dead and eight injured. All those killed were making bombs to create terror in the elections to secure Alam’s victory.
Alam has been accused of taking all the blast-injured and the dead to a nearby brick-kiln and throwing them in the furnace to destroy evidence of the blast.
Police had recorded statements of 17 persons including high-profile persons as part of the investigation. Police recorded the statements of former IGP Om Bikram Rana, former AIG Kiran Gautam, the then SSP Purushottam Kandel, the then DSP Indra Subedi, and the then sub-inspector Ishwar Bikram Shah in connection with the incident. Likewise, police had also recorded statements of eye-witnesses, laborers of brick kiln, and victims of the blast.
The recent development into the case comes after the Supreme Court on May 29, 2012 ordered a proper investigation into the case and bring those guilty to justice as per the law. This came after victims pleaded for justice at the Supreme Court as none of the other concerned government bodies chose to proceed with the case as Alam used his political influence as minister and lawmaker of the then ruling party.
Earlier, the District Attorney Office (DAO), Rautahat, back in 2008 had already closed the case, citing lack of evidences to support the claim of bomb blast and subsequent deaths. The Office of Attorney General had later upheld the decision of the DAO, leaving the victims family hugely disappointed.
Alam was elected lawmaker from Rautahat Constituency-2 in the first Constituent Assembly elections in 2008. Meanwhile, he lost the second Constituent Assembly elections in 2013. But in the parliamentary elections of 2017, Alam won from Rautahat Constituency-2.