SOLUKHUMBU, Feb 25: Two elderly men jailed on the charge of murder were declared innocent by the Supreme Court on Thursday after serving eight years in prison.
Bhupdhwaj Basnet, 73 and Naindra Rai, 63 were held for killing Lok Bahadur Bishwokarma of Solukhumbu on June 27, 2008. The District Court of Solukhumbu announced a jail term of 20 years for them along with Dipendra Nichiring and Kedar Nichiring for their involvement in the murder on December 19, 2009.
So, despite being innocent, Bhupdhwaj and Naindra had to stay in prison. But later they decided to fight for justice and reached the Appellate Court of Rajbiraj. But the court just decided to reduce Bhupdhwaj's jail-term by five years, considering him as a senior citizen. Finally, they went to the Supreme Court seeking justice.
Four years after their appeal, the Supreme Court finally gave its verdict in their favor on Wednesday. After spending eight years and six months in jail without any crime they were finally set free on Thursday.
Although both of them seemed elated leaving the jail, they accused the government of negligence which forced them to spend so many years in prison. “I would like to thank the Supreme Court. Truth always wins,” said Basnet. “I don't know how long will I survive but I am happy that at least I can spend the little bit of time I have with my family,” he added.
Basnet laments that a wrong verdict took eight important years of his life away which he actually wanted to dedicate to his grandchildren. “All money that I had earned with my hard work is finished fighting the case. Will the government compensate me and what about those eight years which I spent in jail? he asked.
With the help of the lawyers who fought his case, Basnet is planning to get compensation by fighting in the court again.