Murder convict Maoist leader Dhungel arrested

Maoist leader Bal Krishna Dhungel, Ujjan Kumar Shrestha

KATHMANDU, Oct 31: Murder convicted Maoist leader Bal Krishna Dhungel was arrested on Tuesday. The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police arrested him from Satdobato at around 11 am.

Dhungel has been convicted of murder of Ujjan Kumar Shrestha of Okhaldhunnga district in 1998. He has been kept at the Department of Prison Management and will be handed over to the court, a police source said.

Dhungel’s arrest comes after a contempt of court writ filed against Inspector General of Police (IGP) Prakash Aryal at the Supreme Court (SC).

Senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi had filed the writ against IGP Aryal at the SC on April 12 for neglecting the SC’s verdict to arrest murder convict Dhungel. In response, the SC had asked the police chief to arrest Dhungel and present him before the court within a week.

Okhaldhunga District Court, in 2004 had convicted Dhungel and seven others of Ujjan’s murder and booked him for life term with confiscation of property. But Rajbiraj Appellate Court had given him a clean chit in 2006. However, the SC in 2010 had overturned Rajbiraj Appellate Court’s decision upholding the 2004 verdict of the district court.

As Baburam Bhattarai-led government had forwarded Dhungel’s name for a presidential clemency on November 2011, implementation of the SC’s verdict remained on hold. However the apex court ordered the government not to provide any presidential clemency to Dhungel.

He has been walking free since the SC’s verdict. Dhungel was arrested in course of the implementation of the court verdict, Nepal Police spokesperson Manoj Neupane said.

Of the seven murder convicts, six has already served their term in Jail while Pushkar Gautam is still serving his term.