Court reopens Maina murder case

She was tortured to death by NA officials during the Maoist insurgency

Kavre, January 25

Kavre District Court reopened Maina Sunar murder case put on hold two years ago. A single bench of Judge Ishworraj Acharya had put the murder case on hold in 2013 after the defendants did not appear in the court.

Sunwar from Kavre’s Kharelthok was tortured to death during the Maoists insurgency. Judge Anawai Mainali reopened the case on January 12, four months after the statute of limitations expired.

District Attorney Govind Bhattarai said the court had ordered to put the case on hold after army officers accused in the case did not appear in the court despite repeated summons.

The Nepali Army had arrested Maina on February 17, 2004 accusing her of being a Maoist cadre. She was tormented to death at Birendra Sainik Peace Training Centre, Panchkhal.

The deceased’s mother Devi had registered a charge sheet against the four army officers at the district court through the Office of District Attorney.

Devi had filed the murder case against Colonel Babi Khatri and captains Sunil Prasad Adhikary, Amit Pun and Niranjan Basnet. She had attached as many as 133 evidences related to the case.

A group of 15 security personnel had arrested Maina, while she was on her way to school. At the training centre, she was electrocuted and her body was buried in the forest.

Following pressure from national and international human rights organisations, Maina’s remains were excavated on March 23, 2007 with technical assistance from National Human Rights Commission and others. A DNA test on her remains was conducted in India.

Court of inquiry Board at Nepal Army led by then Major General Kiran Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana had concluded that army officers had tortured Maina to death. As per the laws, NA has to sack the personnel accused in the murder and hand them over to the Nepal Police.

The army court said it had found Khatri, Adhikary and Pun guilty and sentenced them to six months in prison.

The army court informed that it had suspended the promotion of Khatri for two years and of Adhikari and Pun for one year each.

Khatri retired from Nepali Army on May 27, 2009, while Adhikary and Pun put in their papers in 2006 and left for the USA.