Ashram boy laid to rest

KATHMANDU: Six-year-old Rupesh Giri, who died under mysterious circumstances at an ashram, was laid to rest at the Pashupati Bankali burial grounds today.

Grieving mother Kabita Giri, hailing from Diktel in Khotang, had received her son’s body from the TU Teaching Hospital after the Ashram Steering Committee agreed to provide the victim’s family a cash of Rs 1 million as compensation and Rs 10,000 for the funeral service. The committee also agreed to build a memorial on the premises of the Pranavananda Sewa Ashram in Kumarigal, Guheshwori, where the boy died on Tuesday.

Rupesh Giri, a first grader at the ashram, was allegedly beaten to death by one of his seniors in the hostel. Keshav BK (15), a seventh grader living in the ashram and hailing from Sarlahi, has pleaded guilty.

According to the police, Keshav had repeatedly punched the child, dragged him out of the dormitory to the toilet and banged his head on the wall for allegedly not following ashram disciplines.

Bishnu Man Shrestha, a close acquaintance of the Giri family, said the body was today kept at the ashram for the public to pay their tributes. Hundreds of people attended the funeral. The child’s mother and the public have sought action against the guilty. The police have arrested Keshav, Swami Atma Sudananda (the head of the ashram) and one Saran Koirala.