33 kg gold smuggling: Biratnagar High Court orders release of SSP Lohani
Sep 14, 2018-
The Biratnagar High Court has ordered the release of SSP Dibesh Lohani, who was arrested in connection with the 33 kg gold smuggling case, on general date.
A division bench of Justices Nagendra Labh and Saranga Subedi on Friday issued the order by overturning the decision of Morang District Court.
SSP Lohani on June 21 had filed a complaint at the High Court demanding his release.
He was then Chief of Metropolitan Police Crime Investigation Bureau (MPCD).
A committee formed under the leadership of Ishwor Paudel, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, had summoned Lohahi to record his statement. He was arrested on May 2. He was handed over an arrest warrent after recording his statement.
SSP Lohani has been accused of attempting to protect MPCD DSP Prajit KC, Sub-Inspector Bal Krishna Sanjel and Chudamani Upreti, aka Gore, the alleged mastermind of 33 kg gold smuggling case and subsequent murder of Sanam Shakya, an alleged carrier of smuggled gold who was electrocuted to death.
The Morang District Attorney’s Office had lodged various cases including murder, organised crime, abduction and hostage taking against 63 suspects including SSP Lohani, former DIG Govinda Niraula, SP Bikash Raj Khanal, DSP duo KC, Sanjay Raut, Sub-Inspector Sanjel, Constable Bishnu Bahadur Khadka.
Senior advocate Sushil Panta and advocates Devendra Koiral and Ram Chandra Subedi had argued from the side of Lohani.
Similarly, district judges Punya Prasad Pathak, Gopal Prasad Rijal and Rajendra Singh Bhandari had argued on behalf of government.
After the directive from the district court, he was kept at the Jhumka-based regional prison.
The district court had earlier ordered to keep SSP Lohani among others in custody citing they were found guilty on the basis of evidences. Later, Lohani’s advocate had lodged a complaint at the High Court arguing that the district court’s decision was against the process.
Likewise, DIG duo Govinda Niraula, Shyam Khatri, SP Bikash Raj Khanal, DSP Prajit KC, Sub-Inspector Bal Krishna Sanjel had also lodged a complaint at the High Court demanding their release. The court is yet to start the hearing of the complaint.
The 33kg gold smuggled through the Tribhuvan International Airport had mysteriously disappeared from Kathmandu before reaching its intended destination.
The smuggling case drew much public attention following the murder of Shakya. Shakya’s body was recovered from a vehicle (Ba 12 Cha 5963) in Biratnagar.
Published: 14-09-2018 20:40