Rautahat, November 11
The third day of the trial hearing on the case of Nepali Congress leader Mohammad Aftab Alam started today with defence lawyers presenting their arguments.
Alam is being sued for three charges, namely, murder, attempted murder and causing explosion.
Senior advocate Yogendra Adhikari, Sunil Pokharel, Sher Bahadur KC and Gopalkrishna Ghimire made a case on behalf of Alam today.
As there are over 30 legal professionals arguing for Alam, the hearing is likely to continue until Wednesday. Most of them who took part in the hearing today disclaimed Alam’s involvement in the Rajpur incident and sought his release on normal date, reasoning that both the police investigation and the government attorney’s office had failed to establish Alam’s complicity in the incident.
“While the police investigation report doesn’t include any comment on my client, both the government attorney and the police have adopted the INSEC report as evidence. How can a people-elected representative be kept in custody on the basis of a report of a non- government organisation,” argued senior advocate Sher Bahadur KC. “He has been trolled on the internet and his reputation has been shredded like never before just on the basis of some charges levelled on whims. What is this?” KC asked.
Another senior advocate Sunil Pokharel suspected the documents presented by the prosecution, saying nothing could be proved.
Similarly, another senior advocate Gopal Krishna Ghimire also suspected that Alam’s case was a fabricated one trumped up to ensnare him on the basis of political bias. “In fact, the case filed against him doesn’t have a single document that could prove him (Alam) guilty,” he said. “It is said the incident supposedly carried out by Alam happened one day prior to the polls, which seems suspicious given the fact that the silence period had started well before the incident supposedly took place and it was pointless for him (Alam) to come out of his home if he couldn’t canvass,” he argued.
Further, Ghimire also questioned why the personal aide granted to him as a former minister didn’t say anything about the so-called incident. Following the arguments, Alam was again sent to the custody of District Police Office.
As per court sources, the remaining defendant lawyers will present their cases tomorrow, and maybe also the next day, following which the government attorneys will be allowed to present their arguments once again.
A version of this article appears in print on November 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.