Maina’s mom takes ‘killers’ to court

Kavre, January 10:

Mother of Maina Sunuwar, who was allegedly killed by three army men in the Panchkhal barracks three years ago, today filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against the “guilty” army men.

Maina, a ninth-grader at Bhagawati secondary school in Kharelthok VDC 6, was held on February 17, 2004 and detained at the barracks. Maina was tortured to death, Devi, Maina’s mother, claimed in the petition. The police refused to register a case when Devi tried to file a case. However, the case was registered following orders from the police headquarters.

The case filed with cooperation of Advocacy Forum has requested the SC to issue orders, including a mandamus order, in accordance with Article 88 (2) of the Constitution, for arrest of the accused.

Earlier, the Military General Court had ordered that legal action be taken against Colonel Bobby Khatri, Captain Amit Pun and Captain Surendra Adhikari after they were convicted. The court had also ordered them to provide Rs 1 lakh as compensation to the bereaved family. The court had suspended Khatri’s promotion for two years and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 and a year’s imprisonment to the two captains apart from slapping a fine of Rs 25,000 on each.

Devi said she approached the SC after the district police office, where she had filed a case, did not initiate action. She refused to accept Rs 1 lakh announced by the army as compensation to her on June 12. “If there is liberty of killing a human being on payment of Rs 1 lakh, I am ready to pay that sum and claim the right to kill,” she told this daily. The

district police office said army officials convicted by the military court did not present themselves at the office although it sent letters, asking them to be present for recording of their statement.

The police said it had sent letters to them on December 6, 2005 and April 6, 2006. The army said it replied back to the district police on May 22, 2006 stating that the convicted army officials were punished. “The army sent the letter stating the army case cannot be referred to the police,” said DSP Mahendra Pokharel.