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Maina Sunuwar murder case: Court awards life imprisonment to 3 NA officers

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 17, 2017-

Kavre District Court on Monday awarded life imprisonment to three Nepal Army officials for the murder of Maina Sunuwar during decade-long armed conflict.

A single bench of district court Judge Medini Prasad Poudyal convicted then Colonel at Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre in Panchkhal Babi Khatri, Captains Amit Pun and Sunil Adhikari for the insurgency-era murder of Sunuwar and pronounced life terms. Then Major Niranjan Basnet has been acquitted of all charges citing that 'he was only following orders'.

This is probably the first incident in which Nepal Army personnel have been convicted and awarded imprisonment by a civilian court.

Fifteen-year-old Sunuwar was arrested on February 17, 2004 from her home in Kharelthok, Kavrepalanchok, and brought to the Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre in Panchkhal. She later died after severe torture inside the army barracks.

She was studying in grade nine at Kharelthok-based Bhagawati Higher Secondary School in Kavre at that time. 

The case was adjourned at the district court for two years before the court on January 14, 2015, ordered to reopen the case. The court had issued an arrest warrant against four NA officials--Bobi Khatri, Sunil Prasad Adhikari, Amit Pun, and Niranjan Basnet, on the charge of illegal detention, torture, and killing on January 21, 2008.

The National Human Rights Commission and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had exhumed Maina’s body from the NA’s Panchkhal Barracks in 2007.

NA Soldiers had held Maina hostage to arrest her mother, who had witnessed the murder of another teenager, Rina Rasaili, in Kavre.

ALSO READ: Families of some conflict-era victims tell why the two transitional justice bodies cannot deliver them justice

Published: 17-04-2017 15:02

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