Kathmandu, February 10
Muna Adhikari Karki, wife of former government secretary Arjun Karki, today succumbed to severe head injuries which she allegedly suffered at the hands of a domestic help.
The 49-year-old was found unconscious in a pool of blood at her residence in Sanepa at around 11:15 am and was rushed to nearby Star Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.
Police strongly suspect 22-year-old domestic help Bijay Chaudhary’s hand in the murder, as CCTV footage shows him “dragging Muna”. Chaudhary’s body was also found inside the house. He apparently killed himself by hanging after committing the crime, according to police.
Preliminary investigation shows that the perpetrator “most probably killed her after raping her”, according to Senior Superintendent of Police Sahakul Bahadur Thapa of Metropolitan Police Crime Division.
When police reached the crime scene they found walls of the kitchen, where the body of Muna was lying, splattered with blood. “Blood splashes in such a manner when victims are hit indiscriminately with tremendous force,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Tek Prasad Rai, who heads the Metropolitan Police Range, Jawalakhel. There were also marks around the victim’s neck and wrists, which indicate the perpetrator tried to strangle her and tied her hands.
Police, however, did not find any heavy object that was used to commit the crime, except “broken ceramic plates, a broken plastic chair, and ropes”.
Muna lived in the two-storey house in the posh Sanepa area with her husband, 11-year-old son and Chaudhary. One of her two daughters is in the US and the other is in the UK. This morning the family driver dropped the son at Satdobato-based Ullens School and returned to Karki’s residence at around 8:00am. After the driver left the house, Karki drove to Pashupatinath temple.
“Normally, I used to play golf every morning, but today I decided to visit the temple as Monday is considered auspicious to offer prayers to Lord Shiva,” a devastated Karki told his relatives who had gathered at his residence to console him this afternoon.
When he returned home at around 11:15 am he found the main entrance gate locked. He waited for someone to open it but nobody came. He then opened the gate himself and parked the car.
When he entered the residence, he saw Chaudhary lying on the floor. A green broken plastic rope was tied around his neck. The other end of the rope was tied to the indoor balcony railing on the first floor of the house. He must have fallen after the rope that he used to commit suicide tore apart, according to police personnel.
“I then rushed to the kitchen shouting Muna but she was lying in a pool of blood,” Karki said sobbing.
Karki then remembers going unconscious for some time. After gaining consciousness, he started shouting for help. “We were preparing to have lunch and we heard Karki screaming, ‘He killed her, he finished everything’,” said Yamindra Oli, Karki’s neighbour.
“The strongest evidence we have gathered so far is the CCTV footage, which shows Chaudhary dragging Muna from behind when she was working in the kitchen,” Superintendent of Police Mukesh Singh said, adding, “The CCTV placed outside the house had recorded the incident as the window curtains were open.”
The Karki couple were scheduled to perform Bratabandha (Hindu ritual of anointing young boys) of their youngest son on February 19 and were planning to spend the day making preparations.
A version of this article appears in print on February 11, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.