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Man admits to burying scribe alive

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DAILEKH, JAN 07 -

One of the suspects held in connection with the 2004 killing of journalist Dekendra Thapa has admitted that the scribe was buried alive after he was beaten senseless inside a classroom of a local school in Dwari VDC in Dailekh.

Lachhiram Gharti told the government lawyer on Sunday that the victim’s pulse was still beating when they buried him on August 11, 2004, two weeks after his abduction by the then Maoist insurgents.

“His pulse was faint and weak at the time when we decided to bury him. There were nine of us,” said Gharti, who admitted it was him who dug the grave for Thapa.

He said the district committee of the party—the then CPN (Maoist)—had directed them to capture and torture Thapa.

The correspondent for Radio Nepal and Nepal Samacharpatra daily, Thapa was whisked away by Maoist rebels on a pretext of holding discussions on resuming drinking water supply in Dailekh Bazaar.

Thapa was hung from a wooden beam of a classroom of the Nepal Rastriya Lower Secondary School, while Gharti and his friends lashed him with a stick and burning nettle for two days.

“Moments before he lost consciousness, he had asked for water. I lived nearby so I ran to my house and fetched some water to drink,” Gharti said.

“I admit to my crime and I am willing to face the punishment.”   Gharti, who is currently associated with the CPN-Maoist, was arrested on Friday on the basis of a complaint filed by Thapa’s widow, Laxmi. His interrogation led to the arrest of four others accused in the case—Jai Bahadur Shahi, Harilal Pun Magar, Nirak Gharti Magar, Laxmi Gharti Magar and Bir Bahadur KC. While KC is the Dailekh district member of the UCPN (Maoist), the remaining are associated with the CPN-Maoist.

The district court on Sunday granted the Dailekh police to keep the accused murderers in five days’ judicial custody and proceed with investigations.

The UCPN (Maoist) and the CPN-Maoist have issued separate statements, claiming innocence of their cadres arrested in the case. The two parties accused the authorities of trying to derail the peace process by framing their party members in a case that occurred during the

insurgency.

Meanwhile, Dailekh residents, rights activists and journalists took out a rally at the district headquarters asking the UCPN (Maoist) and the CPN-Maoist not to meddle in investigation.

They also decried the pressure issued to the police and local journalists by the parties in the wake of their cadres’ arrest.

Posted on: 2013-01-07 08:19


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