Kathmandu, June 14

The family of Muktinath Adhikari, a Lamjung-based high school headmaster, who was brutally killed by Maoists for refusing to donate for their cause, today lodged a complaint at TRC headquarters in Kathmandu.

Muktinath’s wife Indira Adhikari, along with son Suman Adhikari and daughter Sabita, lodged the complaint mentioning that her husband was physically and mentally tortured before being shot dead in broad daylight on 16 January 2002.

His was among the most reported human rights crimes that were committed during the decade-long Maoist insurgency that ended in November 2006.

“The headmaster of Panini Sanskrit Higher Secondary School at Chandrashwor VDC, Lamjung, Adhikari, 45, was teaching science in Grade 10 when more than 10 Maoist cadres took him away.

“That very afternoon, he was taken to a hill overlooking the village. Both his hands were tied behind him before he was tied to a tree with his scarf. His stomach was slashed with a Khukuri before he was shot in the chest and temple,” reads the seven-page complaint seen by THT.

Three people — Devendra Paudel of Satdhare, Lamjung; Sadhuram Ghimire alias Prabhu of Ishaneshwor, Lamjung, as well as Dhurva Adhikari of Mujure, Kaski — were among those involved in his murder, reads the complaint.

Ghimire was then district incharge of Maoists, while Paudel was a junior cadre. It is learnt that both roam freely in Lamjung district. Dhurva Adhikari, on the other hand, is associated with Naya Shakti Nepal led by former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai.

When Bhattarai was the PM, he regretted the gruesome killing in a television interview, but didn’t do anything to book the alleged perpetrators, said Muktinath’s son Suman Adhikari.

According to him, Maoists had sent a letter to his father seeking donation -- 25 per cent of Dashain bonus of all the teachers. Maoists had also charged him with being an informant of the government, which he denied.

When Muktinath refused to part with such a huge amount, the Maoist cadres, including Devendra Paudel, had openly threatened to teach him a lesson, he added.

“It was a crime against humanity because he was innocent, unarmed and was killed after being taken into custody,” Suman said.

Indira, in her complaint, has also shared her frustration with the government’s dilly-dallying in investigating the case, arresting the perpetrators and taking strongest action against them.

Muktinath was the sole bread-winner in his six-member family. After his murder, his wife suffered from trauma, the family faced financial hardship and they were compelled to leave their birth place.

“We hope the TRC would be able to carry out thorough investigation into my father’s gruesome killing and recommend adequate action against the perpetrators and provide justice to us,” Suman said.

Since mid-April, TRC has been receiving complaints from the conflict victims and has collected over 28,000 complaints so far.