KATHMANDU: The Lalitpur District Court on Monday convicted five persons, including Chure Bhawar Rastriya Ekata Party's former leader Megh Bahadur Thapa, of Justice Rana Bahadur Bam's murder.
Issuing a verdict in the murder case today, Judge Om Prasad Aryal's bench convicted Megh Bahadur Thapa, Sanjaya Ismali Magar aka Bhagawan, Karan Chaudhary aka Shiva and Deepak Karna of the May 31, 2012 murder, and slapped life imprisonment on them.
Magar and Chaudhary, who opened fired at Justice Bam, face life imprisonment with confiscation of their properties, while the two others face life term only, according to the verdict. Likewise, Prem Raj Khadka was convicted of his involvement in the murder conspiracy as an accomplice. He faces a sentence for five years.
The Court convicted Magar, Chaudhary, Thapa and Karna of attempting to to murder Justice Bam's body guard Mahesh Giri, who was injured in the shooting. For the attempted murder, they face an additional 12 years in prison.
Justice Bam was shot dead near Shankhamul of Lalitpur by the hitmen -- Magar of Ramechhap and Chaudhari of Janakpur -- hired by Thapa, who masterminded the murder.
Justice Bam's bodyguard ASI Mahesh Giri and friend Ram Giri were injured in the attack. Thapa orchestrated the murder to take revenge with Justice Bam, who had issued a stay order against Thapa's chairmanship in the fringe party.
Earlier while confessing the crime, Thapa told police he expected to reap political benefits, including the position of State Minister for Home Affairs in the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led Cabinet, as the chairman of the fringe party, which held some significance in the Parliament on power equation that time.
Police investigation revealed that Thapa had a dispute with Keshav Mainali, then chairman of Chure Bhawar Rastirya Ekata Party over the leadership in 2007. The Election Commission, in 2009, recognised Thapa as the party chairman. Dissatisfied with the EC decision, Mainali moved the apex court but a single bench of Justice Bam issued a stay order in favour of Mainali.
But seeing his political ambitions blocked by Justice Bam's verdict, Thapa decided to take revenge with Bam and hired others for the murder plot.