Lawmaker accused of protecting murder-accused grandson

Published On: May 2, 2019 09:28 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

NEPALGUNJ, May 2: Family members and locals have intensified protests, accusing a federal parliament member of shielding the murderers of Swastika Limbu of Nepalgunj-10 who was killed a few weeks ago.

Nineteen years old Swastika of Ranjha, Nepalgunj, had tied the nuptial knot with Mukesh Budha Chhetri, 20, of Bhrikutinagar six months ago after a brief affair. 

On the first day of the Nepali New Year, the couple had a dispute after Swastika decided to go to her parental home. 

Later, she was found dead at her home. Though her husband and in-laws claim she committed a suicide, her parents say she was murdered.

Since her death, family member and locals have intensified protests across the district demanding stern action against the perpetrators. Reportedly, Swastika had called her mother and told her crying that her husband had prevented her from coming to her parental home. The same day she was found dead at her home at around 2 pm.

As per the statement recorded by Mukesh, his wife hanged herself to the ceiling after he prevented her from going to her parental home. The Struggle Committee against Swastika's murder on Wednesday demonstrated for around two hours at the Airport chowk, Ranjha. Lalmani Saru, coordinator of the committee, stated that the perpetrator is being given political protection.

Nanda Lal Rokayaa, who got elected to the federal parliament from Constituency 3 of Banke is the maternal grandfather of Mukesh. The protesters claim that he has been playing a pivotal role in influencing the police and local authorities to protect his grandson. Earlier, Rokaya had gone to meet the police official when the family members of the deceased were staging protests outside the District Police Office (DPO).

According to the struggle committee, political influence has weakened the case. "Blue-black marks all over the body of the deceased and her torn clothes were enough to prove that she had been murdered," said Saru. 

Local activists, civil society leaders and political leaders have shown solidarity with the series of protests staged by the struggle committee demanding justice for Swastika.

The DPO has kept Mukesh under custody to investigate the matter. Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)  at the DPO, Banke, Prakash Sapkota stated that police have not been pressurized by anyone so far. "We will wrap up our investigation as soon as we receive the report of the viscera test," said DSP Sapkota.

Meanwhile, lawmaker Rokaya has been refuting the allegations that he has been pressurizing the police to release his grandson. In fact, he says he urged the police to conduct a fair investigation.

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