Banke, March 19, 2008

Poll-related violence reigned supreme nationwide in the past 24 hours. While election candidate from Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal (RJN) Kamal Adhikari was shot dead last night, CPN (UML)’s poll contestant in Siraha constituency no 5 and former state minister of general administration Dharma Nath Shah was beaten up by YCL cadres this morning.

YCL cadres also attacked a UML candidate at a village in Baitadi this morning. Cadres of the JTMM-J last night shot at Kamal Adhikari, a candidate for the CA polls from the RJN in Banke constituency no 2.

Adhikari, 51, died this morning in hospital. Banke Superintendent of Police Ghanashyam Bhatta said JTMM-J cadres barged into Adhikari’s house at Uchwa Babakuti in Betahani VDC of the district and fired at him. The policemen deputed for his security had barely returned to the police post when the armed JTMM-J cadres attacked Adhikari.

Party cadre Birendra Khadka, who was sleeping in the same room, said that three masked men entered the room and fired at Adhikari. Doctors at the Bheri zonal hospital said he sustained four bullet injuries and succumbed to his injuries today. Banke CDO Narendra Raj Sharma said Adhikari named the assailants moments before he died. Police have arrested Bhulan Kewat and Holi Kewat on suspicion of their involvement in the murder, Sharma said.

JTMM-J central member and Banke district incharge Bhagat Singh owned up the murder. He said his party had warned Adhikari not to contest the CA polls and that he was killed for disregarding the warning.

SC annuls US court’s divorce verdict

Kathmandu, March 19, 2008

The Supreme Court yesterday invalidated a 10-year-old divorce verdict on a Nepali couple by a US court.

Dr Pushkar Raj Pandey and Sabina were granted divorce by the Pontotoc District County Court on September 14, 1998.

The US court had granted divorce to them when Dr Pandey sought separation, citing irreconciable differences while they were still living in Ada city of Oklahoma. Dr Pandey had accused Sabina of having extra-marital affairs, based on which the US court had granted them divorce.

Interestingly, Sabina, too, accepted the verdict and did not move any US court against it then. However, after returning to Nepal, Sabina filed a property case against Dr Panday, seeking an equal share of Dr Pandey’s property and claiming that he was still her legal husband and he had forcefully ousted her from the home.

Though the Kathmandu district court and the Patan appellate court gave verdicts against her, the Supreme Court yesterday delivered a verdict in her favour. Sabina had moved the SC two years ago.

A division bench of justices Tahir Ali Ansari and Sharada Shrestha refused to take the US court’s verdict as valid.