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Goon killed in ‘encounter’

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Aug 21, 2015-

Notorious gangster Kumar Shrestha alias ‘Ghainte’ was gunned down by police at Kapurdhara in Samakhusi, Kathmandu, on Thursday. Police said he was killed as they fired back in self-defence.

Ghainte’s death comes just over a year after the death of infamous gangster Dinesh Adhikari ‘Chari’ in an encounter with police in Bhimdhunga, Kathmandu.

Doctors at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital said Shrestha had died before he was brought there. Bullets were lodged in his chest and thigh.

Senior Superintendent of Police Sarvendra Khanal of the Metropolitan Police Crime Division said ‘Ghainte’ had misbehaved with the police and did not allow the officials to carry out their routine search in the Samakhusi area.

“The guy instead ran for a few minutes before opening fire on security personnel,” said SSP Khanal. “Our team fired back in retaliation. We learnt later that it was Kumar Ghainte.”

Although police claimed that two other persons shot at besides Ghainte were his partners, locals said the duo has no connection with the gangster. Surin Maharjan and Raj Maharjan, two siblings, were injured in the leg in the shoot-out.

Police said they recovered an automatic pistol, three bullets and six shells from the crime scene. SSP Khanal said they had maintained special vigilance in the area following complaints from businesspersons and locals of threats by gangsters.

Police sources say

Ghainte had returned from hiding in India, Singapore and Malaysia recently and was active in extortion and other illegal activities after the Great Earthquake on April 25.

Three police officials were also injured in the battle. Assistant Sub-inspector Ranjit Lama, Bal Krishna Sanjel and Constable Hemanta Chand are said to have been hurt in the clash. They were admitted to Bir Hospital.

Witnesses said they heard loud sounds from the spot where Ghainte was lying. When people looked out of their houses or peeked into the area later, police in plain clothes threatened them to get out of the scene.

“We thought it was a gang fight. After we were warned, we heard a few more shots. We saw police in the area shortly afterwards and a van took the body away,” said a witness who did not want to be named fearing police reprisal.Ghainte was lying on an open spot beside his white scooter (Ba 56 Pa 100) close to a cab. Ghainte parked the two-wheeler there before entering his house nearby every day.

The yellow coloured one-storey building on Balkumari street (House No 98/20) with zinc roofing sheets was where Ghainte lived with his seven-year-old daughter. Some locals said he had gone out in the morning to leave his daughter at school.

Affiliated with the gang of Chakre Milan and Deepak Manage initially since 2000, Ghainte formed his own gang in 2006. He was separated also with ‘Chari’ later.

Ghainte had a strong base in the Samakhusi-Gongabu area where he was involved in extortion and other illegal businesses.

Ghainte had been detained by police six times on the charge of attempted murder. He was also a part of the gang that shot at Amit Lama in Durbarmarg in 2008.

Ghainte’s body has been transferred to the forensic unit of the hospital for post-mortem.

Published: 21-08-2015 08:45

More on this story

After Nepal Police started hounding him, Kumar Shrestha aka Ghainte had got involved actively in politics with the Nepali Congress.
He was appointed a member of the party’s Sports Department led by NC lawmaker Dhanraj Gurung. Ghainte later became the deputy coordinator of a mechanism formed by the party to collect relief materials after the April 25 Great Earthquake.
He had close links with NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC and his brother Jagadish Narsingh, who is a Constituent Assembly member from Nuwakot. Ghainte participated in various activities of the party and its sister organisations.
TUTH remained tense on Thursday as NC cadres and leaders including Jagadish, Gurung and Bhimsen Das Pradhan gathered on its premises to protest his death. KC dubbed the death as a ‘revenge murder’.
“He had not been charged with any criminal activities of late. This is entirely a ploy to kill a commoner for the sake of  fame and promotions,” said KC. The cadres and friends of Ghainte chanted slogans against police, demanding the resignation of Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam. (PR)

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