Contractors demand arrest of culprits

Kathmandu, November 5

The failure of Nepal Police to nab the culprits behind Sharad Kumar Gauchan’s murder has left contractors across the country ‘shocked and angry’.

Twenty-six days have passed since Gauchan, then president of Federation of Contractors’ Association of Nepal, was shot dead in broad daylight in Kathmandu, but Nepal Police still remains clueless about the culprits.

FCAN President Bishnubhai Shrestha said they were saddened by the government’s failure to identify the culprits and initiate legal action against them.

“Many other contractors continue to receive threats from unidentified persons over phone and are living in fear after Gauchan’s murder. We demand that the government guarantee their physical security,” he said.

Gauchan was suspected to have been shot dead for allegedly refusing to give in to extortion demands from racketeers.

Shrestha warned that the contractors would launch stringent protest if the government failed to arrest the culprits as soon as possible.  “We give the government time until mid-December to identify and arrest the culprits. If the culprits are not arrested by that time, we will launch protests,” he warned.

The FCAN is also preparing to submit memorandum to the prime minister and leaders of various political parties to put pressure on the government to bring the guilty to book.  A seven-member special probe panel led by DIG Ganesh KC was formed the next day of the October 9 murder  to investigate the incident.

“Investigation is under way and we will make the culprits public soon,” a member of the panel said without giving further details. The operatives of Sujan Paudel aka Ramesh Bahun, who is languishing in the Central Jail, and of Manoj Pun, who shot dead a leader of the CPN-UML-aligned Youth Federation Nepal in Rupandehi last year, are prime suspects.