Kathmandu, January 7
The Supreme Court today refused to release murder accused Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal lawmaker Resham Chaudhary, stating there were reasons to believe that he was involved in the Kailali carnage.
The order was passed by a division bench of justices Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada and Purushottam Bhandari.
Eight persons, including a senior superintendent of police and a two-year-old child were killed, during the Tharuhat agitation in Kailali on 24 August 2015. Kailali District Court had sent Chaudhary to judicial custody on February 26 after he surrendered to the court. Dipayal High Court later endorsed the district court’s order to send him to judicial custody against which Chaudhary had moved the Supreme Court.
The SC said there was no need to overturn the order passed by Dipayal High Court and Kailali District Court as Resham Chaudhary was named in FIRs lodged by victims’ families and policeman Keshav Singh Mahara, who was present at the incident site, had also implicated him. The SC further observed that co-accused Sundar Lal Kathariya, Prem Bahadur Chaudhary, Raj Kumar Kathariya and Ram Prasad Chaudhary had recorded their statement claiming that they took part in violence at the behest of Resham.
The SC observed that after analysing call details of Resham Chaudhary’s mobile phone, there was no reason to believe that Resham was far from the incident site when the incident happened. The SC added that Pradip Chaudhary, a defendant, told Kailali District Court that Chaudhary was involved in the incident.
Chaudhary was the coordinator of the Tharuhat struggle committee when the incident took place. He had been demanding that the area with predominantly Tharu population be declared Tharuhat province.
Chaudhary, along with 56 others, face charges of murder, attempt to murder and robbery. Of the 56 accused, 24, including Chaudhary, had been sent to judicial custody in Kailali district prison while the others are still at large. He was elected to the Parliament from Kailali Constituency No 1. On January 3, he was brought to Parliament Secretariat from Dillibazaar prison and sworn in as a lawmaker.
A version of this article appears in print on January 08, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.