2004: Criminals, crime get coverage

Hem Dulal

Kathmandu, December 31:

Aside from incidents of bombing, shooting and killings related to the Maoists, what mattered this year was not the number of crimes but the extent of coverage that crimes and criminals got in the media.

The dramatic Rs 6 million robbery in Nabil Bank at Kantipath on December 13 and the arrest of the teen culprit Niranjan Khanal on December 22 made it the crime of the year. Of the looted amount, Rs 5,930,000 and the stolen pistol were recovered within hours from Khanal’s elder brother’s room. In another case, Iman Bamjung Tamang, 30, killed his friend Sahinla Tamang, 28, in the latter’s rented house at Bouddha on December 1 for Rs 75,500 in Indian currency. The two had just returned from Malaysia a day before the incident. In yet another case of its own kind in the Valley, 11-year old Tenjing Sherpa bashed in the head of his mother’s paramour, Indra Bahadur Ghimire, with a stone on November 19 at Jorpati, Bouddha. The case shocked even the police officers. Two gunmen shot at siblings Subash Bansal and Naresh Bansal and robbed them of Rs 200,000 on October 31 from their photography materials wholesale shop at New Road. Although doubtful, the reported robbery of Rs 1 million including cash and ornaments from the shop of Rajkishor Shah and Geeta Joshi on October 29 at Bishal Bazaar is one case that is giving headaches to police.

Charles Sobhraj — a major headline-hitter last year after his arrest in Nepal — again was in the spotlight after his failed escape bid from Central jail on October 29. Sobhraj’s plans went awry after the department took action against a dozen police personnel including the inspector and jail administration officers of the Tripureshwor central jail. Gang war between the Valley’s crime heavyweights, Milan Gurung alias Milan Chakre and Rajiv Gurung alias Deepak Manange, also got ample media coverage. Milan Chakre’s attack on Manange’s gang on June 3 at the Jai Nepal cinema hall resulted in injuries to five of Manange’s men.