Dekendra's murder definitely a criminal case: Dailekh court
DAILEKH, Feb 2: Dailekh District Court on Friday overruled the defendants´ claim that journalist Dekendra Thapa´s murder was the special case and thereby does not fall under the jurisdiction of the regular criminal justice system.
Talking to Republica after the court ruling, chief administrator of the district court Anantaraj Panta said, “The court ruled that Thapa´s murder case falls under the jurisdiction of a court like any other criminal cases.”
The court claimed the case fell under its jurisdiction as the incident took place in the district. Moreover, the Supreme Court on January 15 has already ordered the local administration to proceed with the case.
Earlier, the Office of Attorney General had directed Dailekh District Police and District Attorney´s Office to stop proceedings against those accused of Thapa´s murder claiming the war-era cases fall under the jurisdiction of the yet-to-be-formed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
Bringing the murder case under its jurisdiction after its ruling on Friday, the district court also sent all the five accused of Thapa´s murder to judicial custody.
Panta said that the five accused were sent to the judicial custody as their involvement in the murder had been clearly established. The district court´s ruling comes at a time when government is overtly trying to secure the release of all the accused, who are also Maoist cadres.
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Investigation Officer Binod Sharma said the court ruling was the proof that the criminal justice system in the country is still functioning. “With support from all quarters, the court has proven that the criminal justice system is still functioning,” Sharma stated.
After the court ruling, journalist Thapa´s mother Ganga Devi Thapa, smeared vermilion on the faces of lawyers and investigation officer Sharma and garlanded them. “A thousand thanks to all of you who supported me in fighting this legal battle,” said Ganga.
Thapa was abducted on June 26, 2004 and subsequently killed on August 11. Eight years after journalist Dekendra Thapa was killed allegedly by Maoist cadres, police arrested five people -- Lachhi Ram Gharti Magar of Dwari VDC-1, Bir Bahadur KC of Baluwatar VDC-7, Nirak Bahadur Gharti Magar of Baluwatar-9, Harilal Pun Magar of Dwari VDC-3 and Jay Bahadur Shahi, a resident of Raniban VDC-1 in connection with Thapa´s murder in the first week of January.