Rapist sentenced to die in prison

Pokhara, December 19

Kaski District Court today imposed life term (jail sentence till death) on Kusum Paudel, 27, for raping and murdering 10-year old Shreeya Sunar. This is the first time that a Nepal court has invoked Section 41 of the new penal code to impose jail sentence till death. This new law came into force on August 17.

As per Section 41 of the penal code, the court can impose jail sentence till death in six cases: for killing someone in a cold blooded and brutal manner, for killing someone  after hijacking a plane or blasting ammunition in a plane, for killing someone by poisoning food or drinks meant for public consumption, genocide and murder after rape.

According to court registrar Jagannath Paudel, a bench of District Judge Yogendra Prasad Sah had convicted Kusum of raping and murdering the minor on December 2 and passed the sentence today.  As per the new penal code, hearing for sentence takes place after the guilty verdict.

After thorough investigation, Kaski District Police Office had filed the case at the court through the district attorney on October 8.

Sunar, who left home in the evening to buy biscuits on September 23, was found dead in a bush near her home the next day.

Police arrested Shreeya’s neighbour Paudel on September 24 and launched an investigation. During interrogation, Paudel, a married man with children, admitted that he attempted to rape Shreeya, a Grade III student,  while he was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. “When she protested, I strangulated her with one hand and penetrated her with the other,” Paudel had confessed. He killed her by hitting her face and head with a stone after she lost consciousness.

Shreeya’s father had married another woman when she was at a tender age. Since then, she had been living with her maternal uncle Krishna Sunar. The incident occurred when Shreeya, who used to study in Lila Aadharbhut School, went to a shop with Rs 5 that her grandmother had given her to buy biscuits.