Rape, murder accused arrested after five years on the run

- Prachi Aryal, Kathmandu

Jun 27, 2017-A man, who had been on the run for five years, has been arrested following a joint effort of Nepal and Indian police. 

Shyam Raut, of Poku in Ramechhap district, was wanted in connection with rape and murder of teenager Suntali Tamang in 2012. 

A joint team of the Central Regional Police, Hetauda and the District Police Office, Ramechhap, in conjunction with the Indian Police arrested Raut from Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India. 

Raut has admitted to the killing of Tamang after raping her, chief of the Central Regional Police Office DIG Ganesh KC told a press conference in Kathmandu on Monday.

The 14-year-old victim had gone missing on January 19, 2012 and her body was found 15 days later in a stream in the Sainpu VDC of the district. Following the incident, Dilli Maya, mother of Suntali had filed a complaint at the District Police Office. She had demanded justice and accused Shyam Raut and Pradeep Raut as guilty of the crime. 

“The police administration refused to investigate the matter at the time. Instead, they harassed me,” recalled Dilli Maya. 

She accused DSP Sanjeev Sharma, the then chief of the District Police Office of harassing her and abetting the rapist of her child.  

Police reopened the case after it was highlighted in the media and Dilli Maya began serious struggle to seek justice. She even met with then chief secretary Lila Mani Poudel and IGP Upendra Kanta Aryal, both of whom had assured her of a 

fair investigation and that the guilty would be brought to book. 

After the case came to the fore, DSP Sharma was transferred to the police headquarters.    

With the alleged rapist enjoying protection from the police authority, Dilli Maya said, they began threatening and coercing their family members. 

“We were displaced from our village and had to stay in Sindhuli for three years,” she said. “The delay in filing the complaint gave the murderer enough time to flee the district.” 

Following pressure from all quarters, police swung into action recently and reopened the five-year-old case. 

Raut had been arrested in coordination with the Indian Police, DIG KC said, adding that the accused was found working at a restaurant in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, one of the seven union territories of India. 

The Indian Police handed him over to the Nepal Police in Bhairahawa on Sunday. Although Raut had been taken into custody in 2012, he was released shortly afterwards. 

DIG KC also said that necessary departmental action would be initiated against then DSP Sharma, who had denied to carry out further investigation into the case and had instead abbetted the murder accused. 

Published: 27-06-2017 07:59

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