DHANGADHI, Feb 27: The District Court, Kailali on Monday sent Resham Lal Chaudhary, who is accused of masterminding the the 2015 Tikapur massacre, to judicial custody.
Chaudhary who was on the run since the massacre had surrendered to the District Court at around 11 am on Monday.
On August 24, 2015, seven security personnel including SSP Laxman Neupane and a toddler were brutally killed during a clash between the police and armed protesters affiliated with the Tharuhat Struggle Committee in Tikapur of Kailali.
A single bench of Judge Parshuram Bhattarai sent him to custody following preliminary hearing on his alleged involvement in the massacre. Police took Chaudhary into judicial custody for investigations soon after the court ordered that it was not fully convinced that the accused was not involved in the incident although he told the court that he had no role at all in the incident.
Government attorneys Prakash Bahadur Bhandari, Nabin Bhatta and Bhandev Joshi, and senior advocate Rajendra Saud had pleaded on behalf of the government whereas advocates Gangaram Padhya, Milan Rai, Gajenda KC and Nathuram Mahato had defended the accused.
Accused Chaudhary's statement was recorded soon after the preliminary hearing on the massacre was conducted at the court.
In his court statement Chaudhary denied any involvement in the massacre. Chaudhary said he had tried his best to control the crowd before the clash but he was forced to flee after his attempts failed.
In the parliamentary elections held last year, Chaudhary who filed his candidacy from the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) was elected from Constituency-1 of Kailali. He defeated left alliance's candidate Madan Kumari (Garima) Sah.
Despite his victory, the Election Commission citing the law refused to provide the election certificate to Chaudhary's proxy, his lawyer, stating that Chaudhary himself should collect the certificate.
32 accused still at large
The government had filed cases against 58 individuals at the district court in connection with the massacre.
Laxman Chadhary along with 25 accused were presented before the court. Among them, 23 are serving jail terms while two accused were freed and handed over to their relatives as they were minors.
Thirty-three accused are still at large. With the surrender of Resham Chaudhary, now 32 accused remains at large.