IMPUNITY WATCH SERIES of THE KATHMANDU POST
KAMAL RAJ SIGDEL
JAN 14 - In a landmark ruling, the Nepalgunj Appellate Court, Banke has issued a mandamus to the District Police Office, Banke to initiate the investigation into the extrajudicial killing of Kamal Dahal by Army personnel in 2002.
Issued on Wednesday by the joint bench of judges Shanti Raj Subedi and Ratna Bahadur Bagchan, the ruling was in response to a writ filed by Yogmaya Dahal and Bhumisara Thapa, who had claimed that the police had been denying initiating investigation into the murder case for the last two years.
The petitioners had filed the FIR at the district police office two years ago demanding independent investigation and action against the guilty Army personnel involved in the killing of Dahal. The FIR claims that Dahal was allegedly murdered by the army personnel dispatched from the Chisapani Barrack in the command of Captain Ramesh Swanr in 2002.
It is the second landmark ruling by a civilian court after the Kavre District Court’s ruling on the Maina Sunuwar murder case last year, according to Govinda Sharma Bandi, the advocate who pleaded on behalf for the case. The Kavre District Court had ordered Nepal Army to suspend Maj. Basnet. Advocates Sushil Kumar Lakhe and Basanta Gauchan from Advocacy Forum had also pleaded from the victims’ side.
According to the victims and the FIR, Dahal, who was a 34-year-old teacher at Prabhat Secondary School in Bankatawa-4, Banke was arrested by the Army personnel on Jan. 1, 2002 from the school premises and was taken to the Chisapani Barrack. The next day, that is Jan. 2, 2002, there was a radio report that “a terrorist named Kamal Dahal died of bullet fired by security personnel while he was trying to escape from the detention.”