KARNALI, Dec 13: The District Court has sentenced three people convicted of the murder of Dailekh journalist Dekendra Raj Thapa to life imprisonment.
A bench of District Judge Dandapani Lamichhane on Sunday convicted Arun alias Bam Bahadur Khadka of Dullu Municipality-6, Keshav Khadka and Bam Bahadur Khadka alias Mukti of Bhagwatimai Rural Municipality-6 of the murder and sentenced them to life imprisonment.
District Court Registar Indra Bahadur Karki said that the three main culprits of Thapa's murder have been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and Bhakti Ram Lamichhane, a resident of Kohalpur Municipality-3, who had helped to hide the body, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment. Police had arrested five of the nine involved in the murder on January 4, 2013 and started investigation into the Dekendra Thapa case. Among them were Bam Bahadur Khadka alias Arun, Bam Bahadur Khadka alias Mukti, Keshav Khadka and Bhakti Ram Lamichhane were on the run.
Thapa, a local correspondent of Radio Nepal, was beaten to death by the then Maoist cadres at the gate of Naumule in the northeastern region of Dailekh on August 11, 2004. The body was hidden after the murder. After the peace process, Thapa's skeleton was exhumed and DNA was tested at the initiative of the Federation of Nepali Journalists and the Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC). Dekendra's wife Laxmi Thapa lodged an FIR at the District Police Office, Dailekh on August 22, 2008 demanding legal action against those involved in the murder of her innocent husband.
Police arrested five people on the basis of the complaint and filed a case against them. The district court sentenced Nirak Bahadur Gharti, Harilal Pun, Jaya Bahadur Shahi, Laxmi Ram Ghartimagar and Bir Bahadur KC to life imprisonment and the case was put on hold against the absconding accused.