Court sends nine suspects to prison, one more nabbed

Kathmandu, January 23

The Kathmandu District Court today sent nine persons, including Samirman Singh Basnet, to jail until final verdict on their involvement in the October 9 murder of Sharad Kumar Gauchan.

A single bench of Judge Babukaji Baniya sent them to jail for further investigation into the murder charge. The others sent to jail include Shuvaji Mahato, Rajiv Syangtan, Mukesh Kumar Pandey, Prakash Budhathoki, Basanta Thebe, Santosh Gurung, Danraj Youghang and Surya Baji, said a KDC official. However, two suspects Raj Kumar Sah and Shyam Gupta were released on Rs 30,000 bail each.

Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, had filed multiple charges — murder, arms and ammunition and organised crime — against them at KDC through the Office of District Attorney seeking a 30-year jail term for each.

Meanwhile, Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police has nabbed the alleged main shooter. Superintendent of Police Jeevan Shrestha, CIB spokesperson, said Shyam Bahadur Gombi Magar alias Baghmare, 32, of Bara and currently residing in Bharatpur Metropolitan City-13 of Chitwan, was arrested from the metropolis yesterday.

“He was directly involved in Gauchan’s murder and had been absconding since. Investigation suggests that he was also among the suspects in the murder of CPN-UML-aligned Youth Federation Nepal leader Durga Tiwari dead in Rupandehi,” Shrestha informed. He had deserted from the Nepali Army. Gurung was handed over to Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, to proceed with murder charge today.  With this, the number of suspects arrested by police in connection with Gauchan’s murder has reached 12. Gauchan, 60, president of the Federation of Contractors’ Association of Nepal, was gunned down by armed motorcyclists on Prayag Marg, Kathmandu.

Gurung was one of the two shooters who fired two shots at Gauchan. Gauchan had been under surveillance of the gang for about a month before being shot dead for allegedly refusing to pay extortion money.

The extortion racket had brought pistols from Betiya in Bihar. Police said both the pistols used in the shooting were recovered. Basnet and his henchmen were constantly threatening Gauchan over phone for refusing to pay extortion money, but the victim never lodged a complaint with police, said officials. The gang was notorious for extorting contractors and businesspersons. Some other suspects are still at large.