Suspect in net

- DEEPAK PARIYAR, LEKHNATH (KASKI)

Sep 27, 2018-

Police arrested a 27-year-old man in connection with the rape and murder of 10-year-old Shriya Sunar of Pumdibhumdi in Pokhara Metropolitan City-22, Kaski, on Tuesday night.

Kusum Paudel, the victim’s neighbour, was nabbed from his residence in Pumdibhumdi on the charge of raping and murdering the minor. He was paraded before media at the District Police Office (DPO) on Wednesday. Superintendent of Police Om Bahadur Rana said the suspect had confessed to the murder even as he denied the rape charge.

Shriya, who had been staying at her maternal uncle’s house in Pumdibhumdi, went missing since she left for a nearby shop to buy biscuits at 5pm. The locals recovered her body in a bush about 50 metres from the house on Tuesday morning. An autopsy carried out at the Pokhara Health Science Academy showed that the rape victim died due to serious injuries in her head. She was studying in grade three at Shree Lila Basic School.

Soon after the incident, a joint team of the DPO and the Ward Police Office in Baidam was mobilised to hunt for the criminal. Investigating officers had used a sniffer dog to find the criminal. Police apprehended Paudel from his house at 8:30pm on Tuesday. Paudel’s house is around 100 metres from the victim’s maternal uncle’s house.

Paudel is said to have told police that he committed the crime under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

According to the suspect, he was drunk since late morning that day and met the girl while he was going to buy cigarettes. He offered the victim Rs5 first and later he called her to an isolated area offering Rs10 and attempted to rape her but she retaliated. He took the victim in a bush beneath the way and attempted to rape her.

An investigation officer quoted the accused as saying that he pressed her throat after she cried for help. When the victim fell unconscious the suspect bashed her head repeatedly with stone. But he denied having assaulted her sexually.

Paudel’s wife, who was on her way to buy milk, reportedly met him and took him home.

According to neighbours, an unemployed Paudel was involved in several incidents of theft in the past. They reported that he often went out of contact for months after theft before returning home. It is learnt that the suspect, the father of an eight-year-old son, was addicted to marijuana and alcohol.

Locals picket police office

Local people picketed the DPO in Pokhara demanding stern action against the suspect. A large number of people, mostly women, took to the streets in protest as the police were preparing to make the suspect public.

Published: 27-09-2018 07:27

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