Freedom Forum welcomes District Court Dailekh’s verdict of life imprisonment to the murder convicts of journalist Dekendra Thapa on December 12 after seventeen years of incident. Dailekh lies in Karnali Province of Nepal.

The court delivered the verdict ordering the convicts Bam Bahadur Khadka from Katti, Bam Bahadur Khadka aka ‘Arun’ from Chhiudipusakot and Keshab Khadka; each for twenty years of life imprisonment and another convict Bhaktiram Lamichhane for three
years of imprisonment.

Earlier, District Court Dailekh’s had delivered verdict on December 7, 2014 to arrest nine perpetrators involved in the murder, among which five- Laxi Ram Gharti Magar, Bir Bahadur KC, Nirak Bahadur Gharti Magar, Harilal Pun Magar and Jay Bahadur Shahi were arrested on January 1, 2013.

While others have served their jail terms, two Harilal Pun Magar and Jay Bahadur Shahi fled before completing their jail term and were rearrested on December 15, 2020 and February 6, 2021 respectively.

According to FF reports, Journalist Thapa was abducted and buried alive after 45 days of abduction by then CPN-Maoist cadres on August 10, 2004. After four years of murder, his body was discovered and final rites were observed.

To this, FF Executive Chief Taranath Dahal observed, “Though it is late, the court verdict has addressed long-entrenched impunity for crimes against journalists and provided justice to the victim families. The concerned authorities are urged to address to the other pending cases of impunity against journalists.”

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Freedom Forum
Kathmandu, Nepal