The station chief kept changing, the mystery was not solved

October 20, Jhapa. Kamal Singh Dugad, manager of Bhadrapur-based Mansha Cement Industries, sought leave to go home on January 11, 2075. After the leave of the house was approved, Dugad, who was sleeping in the quarter, did not wake up early in the morning. Calling his driver Dugad, he reached the room. There was no answer, when I looked through the window, the body was found in a bloody state. The hands and feet of 66-year-old Dugad were tied, a pillow was pulled over his mouth. The driver called Police Control 100 and informed.

A team from District Police Office, Jhapa was deployed for investigation. A research assistant dog from the Canine Division at Dharan was also released at the scene. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Bhim Prasad Dhakal, who was then the Jhapa police chief, says, “Investigations confirmed that he was murdered, but the person involved could not be identified.”

The suspicion of the investigating officer was towards the Indian nationals. An inquiry was also conducted in this regard, but it was not possible to bring him for questioning. After Dhakal, the file of Dugad murder case also came on the priority of other SP who became the chief in Jhapa, but there was no progress in the investigation.

Deepak Bhandari, the then leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (NCP) Mechinagar, had gone missing a month before the Dugad murder case. After receiving information about the disappearance of former CPN-UML president Bhandari, the Jhapa police formed an investigation team.

Bhandari, who played the leadership role of organizations like Dhulabari Jesus, Himalayan Multiple College, went missing on December 4, 2075 at 9:30 am. According to Mrs. Geeta Bhandari, after his departure he was called saying that he was going to college and did not return till evening. But both the mobile phone and the motorcycle have been left at home.

According to a member assigned for the investigation, he was seen on closed circuit (CC) camera while walking alone from the border area of ​​Kakadvitta towards Pari. Hence, the police slowed down the search saying that he might come back.

In October 2073, Jhapa area no. Ravin Koirala, the then UML MP of 1st, was defeated in a similar fashion. After the uproar, he said that he is in Siliguri through social media. Seeing the CCTV, the police suspected that Bhandari’s case could be similar to that of former MP Koirala.

But till now four years have passed, Bhandari has not been traced. The family alleges that the police did not show seriousness in the investigation. Not only the cases of Dugad murder and Bhandari’s disappearance, there are other unsolved cases of Jhapa.

Ward No. of Main Commercial Center Vertamod. 5 On 28 October 2078 the half-naked body of a young woman was found. After investigation by the local police office, Virtamod, it was revealed that the deceased was a worker in a local creative cooperative. After the body was found in a lying state, investigations were carried out with various suspicions.

Family members and local people also demonstrated against the police. The police also brought Basnet’s boyfriend Phupaju, who lived on the next floor, under the scanner. But the investigating officers are yet to conclude whether the incident was murder or not.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Rungma Bahadur Kunwar, who conducted the technical investigation into the incident when he was the Central Bureau of Investigation (CIB), is now the Vertamode police chief. But the Basnet death case file is pending. Kunwar says, ‘At that time we investigated some people on the basis of suspicion, but did not find any such evidence to prove that the murder took place.’

The investigation of 40-year-old Dino Rajvanshi, who was killed on 5 December 2077 in Birtamod Municipality-2, Chaituwari, is also stalled. She was found dead in a field near her house and appears to have been murdered. But the police have not been able to bring the people involved in the incident under legal purview.

The investigation of three teenage girls found hanging from the same tree in Kachankaval Rural Municipality-5 Bele village is also pending.

The place where a person’s body was found.

16-year-old Kareena, Kalpana and 17-year-old Anjali Ganesh, working in a tea garden, were found hanging on 8 July 2078. The police have no answer as to why they went to Bagan together on 7 July on leave from home.

According to Kalendra Prasad Rajvanshi, President of Rural Municipality, the police was informed when he did not come till Saturday night. Their bodies were found by the gardeners on Sunday morning. Police said that in preliminary investigation it appears that he has committed suicide.

But the police have not been able to give a satisfactory answer to the question as to why the three girls had to be hanged from the same tree. It is seen that they are also using Indian SIM card. The police did not appear serious about their contact details through that number to investigate the cause. Instead, the police closed the file saying that the postmortem indicated that the death was by ‘hanging’. SP Bishwamani Pokharel, head of the district police office, Jhapa, says, ‘It seems that he may have committed suicide due to poverty, there are no issues that need further investigation.’

The mystery of the fire that killed four people on 10 November 2075 in Shivsatakshi Municipality-10, Laljhoda is yet to be known to the police. Four people, including two minors, died in their sleep due to a sudden fire in a two-storey mud house in the night.

Giving a public statement, the then Congress spokesperson and current General Secretary Bishwa Prakash Sharma said that the incident cannot happen in future and action should be taken by finding the culprits. But till now the Jhapa Police has not given information about the planned incident or what was the future.

The Regional Police Investigation Group (RIT) team from the Province 1 Police Office was also deployed in the investigation. The Call Detail Record (CDR) of the deceased was also analyzed but no clue was found. Neighbors and relatives also did not see the receipt.

Looking at the files of ‘cold case’ (old crime) of the district, it seems that although some incidents are possible, but the police is not able to tell the public about them firmly. There is ample evidence that cases like Birtamod’s Basnet death, Laljhoda fire could be the future. But the police did not dare to bring this to the fore nor did they try to take the victim into confidence.

In the past, a civilian was shot dead by security personnel during a demonstration calling the drowning incident a murder in Virtamod. Therefore, the police officers do not want to make public the information found in the investigation immediately. They find it easier to leave the file as it is than to get into contention.

It seems that the perpetrators of some incidents like the murder of the manager of Manshah Cement may be hiding in India. Jhapa has a border area of ​​144.20 km with India. There is no record of people coming from abroad or leaving from Nepal. This has also added to the complexity of the investigation.

However, it is not that there is no cooperation between the police of the two countries in the matter of crime control. It seems that the officers who handed over the three missing accused in the famous Sidhu Musewala murder case from Bhadrapur to the Indian Police showed no interest in bringing the perpetrators of the crime back to their country. Jhapa’s SP Pokharel’s claim is different. “There is now an informally good rapport with the Indian police, those who commit crimes here and hide in India will not be spared,” he says.

6 questions to the police chief

‘Investigation may take years’
Vishwamani Pokharel, SP, Jhapa

Some crimes in Jhapa do not seem to be solved for years, why are old cases not given priority?

We are investigating by making a register of incidents of old crime. In some cases of missing, the police have been on the chase for a long time. There are also those that can be understood on a weekly basis. I have also instructed my subordinates to be as updated as possible on old matters.

What are the reasons for not reaching the conclusion of research for a long time?

Look, research is not something that would happen today. The results of some crimes have come on a single day. Some have even taken their 20th year. Let us have a look at the incident of Ranibani massacre or Charles Sobraj. So no need to say now or now in research. Sometimes it seems that research gets delayed due to not following the right path. But the police is following. It is not visible until the exact result comes. But I am sure that in a certain period those incidents will also be sorted out.

Will the open border hinder the investigation of certain crimes in Jhapa?

Since there is no extradition treaty between Nepal and India, there are technical difficulties in bringing the accused in some cases. But in some cases there is coordination between the security systems of the two countries and we are exchanging information. We should take it positively. Even in the neighborhood of our house, people commit crimes and hide from each other, but it is not in the border area that crimes do not take place. Some have committed crimes and are hiding here and there to be safe. But sooner or later. All will come under legal purview.

What do you see as Jhapa’s challenge in terms of security?

Jhapa’s main challenge is the increasing drug use and smuggling. This problem is getting worse because of the open border. There are not only drug addicts in Jhapa, but also smugglers in large quantities. Medicines also reach different areas of the country through Jhapa. But now it is very strict. Drugs are being seized daily. Several medicines have been seized from Kakadbhitta area.

It seems that there are many suicides in Jhapa, what are the reasons?

Suicide is not only the problem of Jhapa but also the problem of the country. There are various economic and social reasons behind this. In the southern part, cases of suicides are being reported due to poverty. Foreign employment has spoiled the society. My husband has earned 2/4 paise by going abroad. When he comes back, he has to divorce his wife. When you can earn money, your desires and aspirations also increase. Such things are also becoming the cause of crime.

What is Jhapa Police doing to control it?

A few days ago, we did a program to reduce suicide by focusing on fire. We organized this program by connecting schools, colleges and social institutions. We are running a program against drugs in Jhapa’s schools. We are also explaining cyber crime to the students. Targeting Dashain, we have set up a Passenger Help Cell to check frauds. We have also launched a campaign to reduce the accidents.

Source: OnlineKhabar

Himal Sanchar