Khyati— A promising life cut short
Khyati Shrestha, 17-year-old 12th grader of Jubilant College and Research Centre, receives a call from Merina Shakya telling her that she has won a prize at about 8 am on June 5
• She rushes to Putalisadak as told and is received by Shakya at 1 pm
• Khyati’s family calls her at 2:30 pm, but gets no response
• Khyati’s family receives SMS demanding Rs 1 million ransom that very day
• Her family comes to know that she has been abducted
• Her mother, Radha, pays ransom
to Biren Pradhan in Kakarbhitta
on June 17
• Khyati is not released even after
that. Later it was found that she
was hacked to death within 24 hours
of her abduction
• Body parts are found on Mugling —Narayan road on June 13. Later they were ascertained to be that of Khyati
• Police arrest Pradhan, who was living in a rented house in Kushibu, and Shakya, his alleged accomplice,
on June 21
• Other parts of Khyati’s body are
recovered from Chhayasikot of Sainbu VDC in Lalitpur on June 21
• Her severed head is found from Mudkhu in Goldhunga VDC on June 24
Khyati Shrestha’s murder was sad news for Nepalis across the country. It is felt that the crime rate has been increasing in Nepal day by day. Unfortunately, the government is not doing enough to control it. The government should give the strongest possible punishment to the perpetrator of this monstrous act.
Crimes like murder or rape has often been taken lightly even by the media. Such news should appear in the front page. It is unfortunate that the report of such incidents are carried on the inside pages in small columns. May be the next week’s question of the week for the features segment should be whether heinous crimes such as rape and murder should be awarded with death penalty.
— Amrita Karki Kunwar, Tahachal
This is a terrible abduction and murder case that I have so far have heard of. Am I safe? Will I return home safely in the evening after leaving home in early in the morning for school and college or office? These questions are tormenting many of us mentally and pressure has been mounting on us to a greater extent after the abduction of Khyati Shrestha and her pitiless killing. Shrestha’s murderer is indeed a stigma to the whole society. There is a limit to everything, even for cruelty, but this incident has shown how an abductor goes scot-free. This dreadful incident apparently shows the inefficacy of the working of the crime branch in the police administration and proves that they lack skilled manpower. As the spate of abductions continues, it’s natural that people to live in fear. This incident has made Nepali people wonder whether anarchy will ever end.
— Sanjay Shrestha, via e-mail
Biren Shrestha (Pradhan) the main accused in the killing of Khyati Shrestha has confessed to the police that he killed her. This is a gruesome crime. This is not a new incident for us as we have already seen a similar type of incident in the case of Bibek Luitel. This is failure on the part of government to maintain law and order situation in the country. The Government of Nepal should amend the present law. The law should provide for harsh punishment to such criminals. I pray for the departed soul to rest in peace.
— Roshan Kumar Jha,
Kathmandu School of Law
Lack of compassion
I would like to see the picture of Merina Shakya and Biren Pradhan carried on the front page of every newspaper. Moreover, I would like the culprits to be awarded the harshest punishment, so that others may be deterred from committing such heinous crimes in the future. If it sends a chill down our spine just to read about incident, the agony that her parents might have been going through is quite understandable. Please punish that monster.
— Julie Hada, Australia
Let’s start from us
If we don’t t take the initiative ourselves, no body is going to come and protect us. Rome wasn’t built in a day. If we start now, it may still not be too late for us to introduce change for the better. All we need to do is believe in our power to change. Moreover, criminals like Biren Pradhan must be given he harshest punishment so that other criminals are deterred from committing such crime in the future.
— Nishedh, College Station
Culture of violence
It is almost unimaginable that an educated person like Biren Pradhan could murder his own student for money. The culture of violence that the Maoists promoted during the insurgency days has encouraged criminal activites in the country. Incidents of murder and violence have become everyday news. Only God can save Nepal now.
— Aamir, Kathmandu
It was shocking to learn that an educated person could kill an innocent girl for money. The government should amend the existing laws so that the culprit may be awarded capital punishment. I also wish that the deceased Khyati Shrestha’s soul rest in peace.
— Deven, Dubai
The murderer of Khyati Shrestha should be awarded the harshest possible punishment. If criminals aren’t deterred from committing crimes, they would continue to commit crimes. I want the culprit to be awarded capital punishment.
— Dhiraj, Bahrain
May Khyati’s departed soul rest in peace and may her unfortunate parents get justice! I strongly believe that an efficient judicial system that can deliver justice. I condemn not only the culprits but also the hypocrites who preach about human rights, but keep mum when innocent people like Khyati Shrestha are mercilessly killed. It is necessary to punish criminals if we are to build a safer tomorrow.
— Navin M Shrestha, Kathmandu
I strongly believe that the existing laws need to be amended.
Only a capital punishment would be a just punishment Khyati’s
— Prakash Tamang, Satdobato
The brutal murder of Khyati Shrestha has deeply saddened us. It is the matter of great sorrow and grief to all the students as well as parents across the country. Students from all across the country come to the capital to pursue their further studies. However, if insecurity prevails and murderers like Biren Pradhan are allowed to go scot-free, students may never feel safe to go to their schools and colleges. It is understandable that Nepal is going through a transitional phase, but it is the state’s responsibility to maintain law and order under all circumstances. That Nepal is under a transitional phase is no excuse for the government to be a mute spectator to such criminal activities. It is because of the state’s inability to maintain law and order that crime rate in the city has been on the rise. The state of impunity is another reason for the increased rate in criminal activities.
Moreover, it is a sad thing that criminals are protected by the political parties. Even when criminals are arrested, they are freed the other day. Till criminalisation in politics prevails, there would be no end to violence and crime in our society. In this case, the murderer Biren Pradhan should be awarded the harshest punishment.
— Sandip Khanal Lalmatiya-5, Maurighat Dang
My heartfelt condolences to Khyati’s family. How can any person be so cruel and heartless? I wish that the murderer gets the harshest punishment?
— Pramesh Giri, Australia
Set a precedent
Give severe punishment to the persons who killed Khyati so that nobody dare commit such crime in the future. That is the only solution because Nepali politicians hardly care about the plight of common people. All their care about is power and money.
— Tim May, USA
Our condolences go to the family of Khyati Shrestha. May her soul rest in peace.
— Hari Sankar Bajagain, Bhaktapur
A version of this article appears in print on June 26, 2009 of The Himalayan Times.