Boy's death: Noose tightens on ashram

KATHMANDU: The police today confirmed that six-year-old Rupesh Giri, who was found dead in an ashram here yesterday, was beaten to death.

The boy had been enrolled in the ashram one-and-a-half months ago.

Om Hospital had pronounced Rupesh, a first grader at the Pranavananda Sewa Ashram in Kumarigal, Guheshwori, dead and referred to the TU Teaching Hospital for autopsy.

“Keshav BK (15), a seventh grader in the ashram, hailing from Sarlahi, pleaded guilty of physically torturing him (Rupesh) to death on Monday night,” DSP Govinda Ram Pariyar, in-charge of the Metropolitan Police Circle, Bouddha, told The Himalayan Times today.

According to preliminary investigations, Keshav repeatedly punched the boy, dragged him out of the dormitory to the toilet and banged his head on the wall for allegedly not following disciplines in the ashram.

Rupesh, hailing from Diktel in Khotang, went to bed before serving meals to his seniors in the hostel.

“Rules in the ashram have it that the seniors serve food to their juniors first and the juniors do the same to their seniors in the second shift,” Pariyar quoted Swami Atma Sudananda, the head of the ashram, who hails from Kolkata in India, as saying.

Pariyar said the watchmen and patron of the ashram, which houses 60 boarders, were mute spectators to the moans of the child in pain.

The child was tortured to death, Bishnu Man Shrestha, an acquaintance of Kabita Giri, Rupesh’s mother, quoted officials at the TU Teaching Hospital in Maharajgunj as saying. The grieving mother said she will not take the body until justice is delivered.

Police have arrested Keshav, Swami Atma Sudananda and Saran Koirala who carried the child’s body to OM Hospital. They will face trial for murder. The Kathmandu District Court today remanded them in police custody for seven days. The ashram has been shut down until further notice.