Last week, nine members of two families were murdered in cold blood with a sharp weapon when they were fast asleep at Arubote village in Miklajung Rural Municipality-3 of Panchthar district.
Dhan Raj Sherma, 41, his wife Jasmita Sherma, 36, daughters Yobana Sherma, 13 and Muna Sherma 8 and son Ikshya Sherma, 5; and Dhanraj’s father-in-law Bam Bahadur Phiyak, 75, his wife Farsimaya Phiyak , 71, youngest daughter Man Kumari Sherma, 31, and daughter-in-law Shreya Phiyak,13 were slaughtered on the night of May 20.
Sita Khajum, 12, who witnessed the terrific butchering of her family members, survived after managing to escape and hiding in a neighbor’s house some 50 meters away. She sustained an injury on her right hand, is receiving treatment at Lifeline Hospital in Damak.
It reminded a bitter memory of Timbure massacre of the then Phidim-13, Panchthar 26 years ago, in 1993 (2050 BS), when five members of a family were murdered. Kuber Dulal, his wife Saraswti Rijal, daughter Krishna, sons Umesh and Uddab–were attacked with a khukuri and murdered. Kuber’s daughters Gyanu and Manu had survived the attack.
According to the police, the preliminary investigations showed a connection between the family massacre and the suicide of Man Bahadur Makhim, husband of Man Kumari, who had a troubled relationship with his wife. They had filed for a divorce. Police suspect Man Bahadur was found hanging from a tree in Limba village next morning, located a few kilometers away from the crime site where the blood bath occurred. The investigation led to Man Bahadur as bloodstained khukuri and some blood-soaked clothes were recovered from the place where Man Bahadur was found hanging. Cell phone, some cash and gold were also recovered for the site.
The police, after taking statements from relatives, have found that Man Bahadur was mentally unstable.
According to Sita, a masked man entered the house and started attacking every one present in the house with a sharp weapon. He then fled the scene.
However, the villagers have claimed that such a horrific massacre could not have carried out by Man Bahadur alone. They suspect he was helped by other criminals as well.
A six-member team of Central Investigation Bureau (CBI) is carrying out investigation and collecting evidence from the incident site. A large number of police personnel have been mobilized in the terrorized village, where villagers had a hard time sleeping.
The final rites of the victims were performed in the village on Thursday, after post mortem.
(Video report by Paban Bhattarai)