KATHMANDU, Oct 10: Sharad Kumar Gauchan, the chairman of the Federation of Contractors Association of Nepal (FCAN), was shot dead by unknown gunmen in the capital on Monday afternoon.
Deputy Superintendent of Police at the Metropolitan Police Circle, Baneshwar, Ravi Kumar Poudel, said that Gauchan was heading toward FCAN's office from his home in Shantinagar when two men opened fire at his Toyota Land Cruiser Prado car at Om Shanti Chowk.
The incident spot is roughly 700 meters away from Constituent Assembly building.
Police said Gauchan had sustained three bullet injures and was rushed to the Civil Service Hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead.
Dr Bimal Thapa of the hospital said that Gauchan was dead on arrival. He said that the victim had sustained three bullets -- one each in the heart, liver and abdomen.
"Our examination shows sharpshooters might have been involved in the shooting”, added Dr Thapa.
Police said that they are investigating the incident. Eyewitnesses told police that two men had first hurled stones at Gauchan's vehicle and opened fire after the vehicle stopped. The incident happened at around 3.15 pm, according to eyewitnesses.
"It appears like the shooters waylaid him. When the car reached the spot, one of them sitting on the right side of the road hurled stone at the car. When Gauchan stopped the car, another shooter open fired at him," said DSP Poudel.
Police suspect personal enmity and monetary dispute behind the murder. Gauchan was the proprietor of Danfe Construction, one of the biggest construction companies in the country. Among other things, Gauchan's company had built the new buildings of the National Cultural Cooperation (Rastriya Naach Ghar) and the Kathmandu District Court. Gauchan is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.
"We are investigating the incident. It might take some time to find out the exact reason behind the incident or those involved in the shooting," said SP Ram Datta Joshi of Metropolitan Police Range Kathmandu.
Police suspect that one of the gangs operating in the capital might be responsible for the murder. Several gangsters have stakes in the construction business. The initial suspicion of Nepal Police has fallen on two separate gangs led by Sujan Poudel aka Ramesh Bahun and Manoj Pun. The two gangs were previously involved in similar killings inside and outside Kathmandu. Police are also investigating possible link between Monday's arrest of three men with gun in Manamaiju of Kathmandu and the incident. The three were arrested a few minutes after the shooting occurred.
Gauchan's murder has panicked the business community and sparked a fresh debate on the safety of businessmen and laymen alike. Issuing a statement shortly after the incident, FCAN has demanded that the government investigate the incident and punish the culprit.