Mothers find solace as court sentences 24 to life imprisonment in Rukum’s Soti mass murder incident

Published On: December 6, 2023 02:30 PM NPT By: Nagendra Upadhyaya

SURKHET, Dec 6: Urmila Bishwakarma, the mother of Nabaraj BK, who was murdered over the issue of inter-caste love and marriage, recently received justice as the District Court, Rukum West, pronounced life imprisonment for 24 individuals involved in the mass murder incident that occurred on May 23, 2020.

Nabaraj BK, a 19-year-old from the Dalit community, and his friends were brutally attacked three and a half years ago while attempting to bring Nabaraj's girlfriend to their home district. The victims were chased, beaten and struck with sharp weapons, and forced to jump into the Bheri River, leading to the loss of six lives.

Along with Nabaraj and Ganesh, 20-year-old Tikaram Nepali, 18-year-old Lokendra Sunar, 20-year-old Sanju BK and 17-year-old Gobinda Shahi were also killed.

Urmila Bishwakarma, who had been staging a sit-in protest at the court's gate since last Saturday, expressed her satisfaction with the court's decision. “Even though my son is no longer with us, justice hasn't died,” she said. The families of the victims and rights activists had been doubtful about receiving justice, prompting them to continuously demonstrate and conduct sit-in programs.

Radhika, the mother of Ganesh Buda, another victim, shared her emotions, stating, "The pain of the delayed verdict turned into happiness with the final decision of the court." The mothers of the deceased, including Lokendra Sunar and Gobinda Shahi, thanked everyone involved in ensuring the perpetrators were sentenced to life imprisonment.

During a live-streamed program by activist Khagendra Sunar, the mothers collectively praised and welcomed the court's decision. Khagendra mentioned that Nabaraj BK's mother couldn't attend due to health issues.

Gobinda Prasad Koirala, information officer of the District Court, Rukum West, said that 23 individuals who were in pre-trial detention, along with the girl’s brother, who was earlier released have been sentenced to life imprisonment. He added that eight of the 11 people who were released on their own recognizance have been acquitted. The court acquitted Tularam Gharti, Dilli Gharti, Lokendra Gharti, Saurab Pun, Bhim Bahadur Buda, Indra Bahadur Malla, Tul Bahadur Malla and Dipendra Chand.  

The then ward chairman Dambar Bahadur Malla, Dilli Malla Thakuri, Prem Bahadur Thakuri, Santosh Malla, Man Bahadur Malla, Top Bahadur Malla, Tilak Chand, Harka Bahadur Malla, Binod Malla, Netra Bahadur Malla, Resham Bahadur Malla, Bishnu Malla, Indra Bahadur Thakuri, Lipendra Kumar Malla, Dhanraj Rana, Nabin Kumar Gharti Magar, Biraj Pun Magar, Bhim Bahadur Pun Magar, Ramit Pun Magar, Sabin Pun and Mohan Pun Magar have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Similarly, three people, including Nabaraj's girlfriend, have been sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of Rs 50,000 in the case of caste discrimination, while two minors have been sentenced to two years in prison for caste discrimination.

The court's decision has brought a sense of justice for the grieving mothers, who expressed gratitude towards the judge and the court. Despite the irreversible loss of their sons, the verdict has provided solace and peace for the souls of the deceased, they said.









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