The main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has said the accusation against its lawmaker Mohammad Aftab Alam of murdering 14 persons should be investigated and the guilty punished in accordance to the law.
NC Spokesperson Bishwo Prakash Sharma has tweeted that everybody should cooperate in the legal process to find whether he is guilty or innocent. Alam has lost the status of lawmaker after his arrest.
NC cadres in Rautahat district have been protesting after his arrest from his residence at Rajpur municipality 1 Sunday morning. "Innocent should never be punished, guilty should never get impunity. The fact remains true even in Alam's arrest. Rautahat Congress will also carry this position of NC from Tuesday," Sharma tweeted on Monday.
Similarly, NC lawmaker Gagan Thapa has also stated that Alam should be punished if found guilty. He has stressed that investigation should be done in accordance to the law, and positions are not made or changed depending on characters and situation.
Background of the case
Two persons were killed and over a dozen injured in a bomb explosion at Pharhadawa of Rautahat on April 9, 2008 before the first Constituent Assembly (CA) election. Most of the injured persons were Indians and all of them suddenly disappeared a few days after the incident.
Families of two of the missing Nepali citizens complained with the police some time later claiming that the explosion occurred while making bombs to help Alam win the election and he burned 11 injured persons in the furnace of a nearby brick factory alive to cover up the incident.
Police sat on the complaint filed by Sheikh Ruksana Khatun and Shree Narayan Singh, and Alam won the CA election.
Police secretly investigated the case and found that Alam had hired Indians from across the border to make bombs to capture polling stations, and the villagers corroborated the claims of complainants.
Alam went to the Rautahat Police on June 23, 2008 after being summoned and the police prepared a case against Alam and his five cadres. But the case was never filed after the Office of the Attorney General instructed the District Attorney's Office to that regard on July 14, 2008.
Khatun and Singh moved the Supreme Court (SC) against the decision of District Attorney's Office and Alam, even as Alam became labor and transportation minister in the Madhav Kumar Nepal government in 2009.
A joint bench of the then SC justices Sushila Karki and Bharat Bahadur Karki hearing the petition filed by Khatun and Singh ordered arrest of the defendants and investigation but the order was not executed.
Khatun and Singh then complained with the Judgement Execution Directorate which again ordered Alam's arrest. But powerful Alam, who could even get officers he wanted deployed as Rautahat Police chief, was again not arrested.
Khatun was murdered in the meantime and other victims of the incident also could not speak after that.
Why has he been arrested now?
A person used by Alam to make bombs in 2008 has now come in contact with the police and claimed he has witnessed Alam and his cadres throwing the persons injured in the incident in the furnace of a nearby brick factory.
The witness is now under police protection and the police claim to have found evidence of Alam having a hand even in murder of Khatun.
IGP Sarbendra Khanal told Setopati that Alam has been arrested after gathering sufficient evidence. "The complainant was shot at the time and the families of victims also were not in a state to speak for investigation. The time is favorable now. We also found evidence after intensifying investigation. He has, therefore, been arrested," IGP Khanal elaborated.
Khanal was SP with the Kathmandu Police at the time of incident in Rautahat in 2008. He was coincidentally transferred to Narayani zonal office after being promoted to SSP. Khanal, who had investigated the case even then, was familiar with Alam's crimes.
Alam has now been arrested by a team sent from the headquarters on his instruction.
The police are preparing the case of murdering 14 persons—including the two killed during the explosion, 11 injured during the explosion and later burnt alive, and Khatun—against Alam.
Published Date: Tuesday, Asoj 28, 2076, 09:16:00