Police make public leaders and businessmen arrested for criminal activities in Rupandehi. Photo: Rekha Bhusal
BUTWAL, April 19: Police investigations have revealed the involvement of youth leaders of CPN (Maoist Center) and Youth Association Nepal (YAN) as well as some entrepreneurs behind the criminal activities conducted by notorious criminal Manoj Pun, who was recently killed in police encounter.
Pun, who was allegedly the mastermind behind the murder of Durga Tiwari and Basanta Poudel alias Balu of Rupandehi, was backed by CPN (Maoist Center) and YAN, UML's youth wing, in organized crimes, according to police.
Organizing a press conference on Wednesday, police made public the youth leaders and local businessmen involved in crimes conducted by Pun. Those arrested are Lekhnath Neupane, central leader of CPN (Maoist Center) of Devdaha Municipality-4; former chief of Butwal chapter of Youth Association of Nepal, Uttam Acharya; liquor businessman of Butwal-4, Hari Prasad Shrestha; Roshan Khadka of Devdaha-6; and Tulsi Neupane of Devdaha-5.
As per the preliminary investigation of police, these people used to call the wanted criminal Pun over telephone to carry out criminal activities in return for financial assistance, informed Superintendent of Police Shyam Gyawali, chief of Rupandehi Police. Gyawali further informed that these five people were involved in such criminal activities since a long time.
"It has been found that these people used to provide the details of their own friends for murder and also provided huge money for doing so," said SP Gyawali, adding, "Not just that, they were also found obstructing roads and staging protests on behalf of the victim's family."
Pun and his accomplices had murdered former chief of Rupandehi's Youth Association Nepal Durga Tiwari in December 2016 and chief of Youth Association Nepal and businessman Basanta Poudel in December 2017. Besides that, they are accused of threatening the entrepreneurs and businessmen of the district for donations.
SP Gyawali also informed that police are searching for few more people who have been suspected of co-operating with Pun in his crimes. "There are few more high-profile people who are involved in all this," said SP Gyawali, adding, "We are keeping a close watch on them and will soon nab them too."
Notorious criminal Pun and Som Ale were killed in police encounter on February 21. Police have arrested 18 people including Subash Gurung, Shyam Bahadur Gongbe, Shalikram Chapagain, Paras Bhattarai, Padam Chaudhary and Mahinarayan Chaudhary of Bhorletar, Lamjung among others for their involvement in the murder of Durga Tiwari and Basanta Poudel. Some of them are already facing punishment while some are under judicial custody.