HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
BIRATNAGAR: Parshuram Basnet, whom the police had been searching for the past 11 months for his involvement in beating up a journalist, today appeared before court, but he got dispensed with a court presence date after posting Rs 2 lakh bail.
Basnet, a member of CPN-UML aligned Youth Association Nepal, has been charged with attempt to murder of Biratnagar-based journalist Khilanath Dhakal. Basnet is also facing charges of attacking prisoner Abhishek Giri.
Basnet and his henchmen had beaten up Giri on June 1 and journalist Dhakal four days later over a news report related to attack on Giri.
Morang chapter of Federation of Nepali Journalists had filed an FIR against Basnet on June 6. In the FIR, action had also been sought against Manoj Rai and Rohit Koirala for their complicity with Basnet. Police had arrested Rai and Koirala, but Basnet was at large. Rai is still in custody whereas Koirala has been released on a court presence date. Abhishek Giri’s wife had separately filed an FIR against Basnet. Police had also detained Mukesh Budhathoki on the charges of being Basnet’s accomplice in the crime, but Budhathoki too was freed later on a presence date.
Basnet is said to have arrived in Biratnagar yesterday evening. He reached the court at around 10am today with his kin and henchmen. The court recorded his statement and freed him on bail. In his statement, Basnet argued that he could not appear in court earlier as he had been to India for treatment. A cannula could be seen fixed on his wrist when he reached the court.
Court Registrar Bhishma Prasai said Basnet has been handed over a 70-day notice to present himself before court in relation to both the charges he is facing.
There was heavy security presence when Basnet was recording his statement in the court.
Chairman of Morang chapter of FNJ Bikram Niraula said the federation respects the court order and will decide further steps after holding a meeting of the chapter. Journalist Dhakal refused to comment.
Basnet, however, said he has been relieved by the court order. “Despite attempts to frame me on false charges, the court decision has proved my innocence,” said Basnet, who headed straight to Biratnagar-based UML party office from the court.