Police paraded the main accused behind the murder of Supreme Court (SC) Justice Rana Bahadur Bam on Saturday.
Megh Raj Thapa, alias Babu Thapa, a former Vice Chairperson of Chure Bhawar Rastriya Ekata Party, and his three accomplices were made public amid a press conference at Naxal-based Nepal Police headquarters on Saturday.
In the press conference, police said that Justice Bam’s murder was politically motivated and Thapa had killed Bam seeking revenge against his verdict over the authentication row of Chure Bhawar Rastriya Ekata Party.
The rift between Thapa and party Chairman Keshav Mainali over the leadership of the party had heightened when Election Commission recognised Thapa as the Chairman of the party. However, Thapa, an ex-Indian army who already had a criminal background when he jumped into politics, lost the chairman post when Mainali went to the apex court against the EC decision and a single bench of Justice Bam handed the leadership to Mainali and recognised him as the party chairman.
Police said that Thapa, in his statement to police, had said that Justice Bam’s order had ended his political career and he sought revenge against it.
Thapa was arrested from Sarlahi district on Friday. Three other persons—Karan Chaudhary, Prem Raj Khadka and Deepak Karn—accused of assisting Thapa in the crime were also made public during the press meet. Sanjay Sahani, another person charged in the murder case is on the run, police said.
Two masked assailants riding a red Pulsar motorcycle had opened fire at Bam’s car (Ba 8 Cha 9853) near UN Park in Lalitpur at 11.30 am on May 31, 2012. Bam, who took in four bullets on his neck, chest, armpit and belly, died undergoing treatment at Norvic Hospital, Thapathali, later at 1:30 pm the same day.
A permanent resident of Kalanki, Bam was on his way to the Supreme Court in Ramshahpath after visiting the Patan-based Banglamukhi temple when the incident occured.
Though, no individual or group had officially owned up the incident, pamphlets in the name of the previously unknown ‘Nepalbad Party,’ were found scattered on the site.