‘Mastermind’ in police netPolice on Sunday made public Samirman Singh Basnyat, the alleged mastermind behind the murder of Sharad Kumar Gauchan, chairman of the Federation of Contractors’ Associations of Nepal.
Police on Sunday made public Samirman Singh Basnyat, the alleged mastermind behind the murder of Sharad Kumar Gauchan, chairman of the Federation of Contractors’ Associations of Nepal.
The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police said Basnyat was arrested in Narayanghat of Chitwan on Saturday.
His arrest has led police to suspect that Gauchan’s murder was premeditated. DIG Pushkar Karki, the CIB chief, said Basnyat had planned Gauchan’s murder after the latter denied him shares worth Rs250 million in the Danfe Constructions company. Five other persons have been caught earlier in connection with the murder.
According to police, Basnyat said in his statement that Gauchan had borrowed Rs250 million from his partner Kumar Shrestha “Ghaite”, who was killed by police in an encounter in 2015, promising him a share in his company. Basnyat claimed that he lent Rs100 million to Ghaite, who then gave Rs250 million to Gauchan.
Following Ghaite’s killing, Gauchan repeatedly denied Basnyat shares in the company even as the suspect and his gang members had warned of grave consequences if he failed to offer the shares or return the borrowed amount.
“He had even sought 2 percent commission in the Postal Highway [contract] connecting Birgunj and Biratnagar,” said DIG Karki. “At least 15 people were involved in executing the murder.”
In an interesting turn of events, police on Sunday said Basnyat also had a role in the murder of Durga Tiwari, the Rupandehi chairman of the CPN-UML-aligned Youth Association Nepal.
While killing of Tiwari was owned up by Manoj Pun, a gang leader believed to be operating from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, police claimed that Basnyat was the kingpin. Basnyat reportedly told the police that his gang was now separated from Pun’s ring due to dispute over sharing the loot.
Rajiv Syangtyang of Panchakanya Rural Municipality in Nuwakot; Shivaji Mahato of Parsa; Mukesh Kumar Pandey of Bihar, India; Santosh Gurung of Thori, Parsa; and Prakash Budhathoki are in police custody for their alleged involvement in Gauchan’s murder.
Police investigation had found that Syangtyang had opened fire on Gauchan while Mahato had supplied the arms and motorcycle used in the crime.
Police are still looking for Pun and Lama, among other gangsters. After the murder, Lama had called up multiple builders and police officials including Senior Superintendent of Police Rabindra Dhanuk, chief of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range, claiming responsibility for the murder.
Construction entrepreneur Sharad Kumar Gauchan was killed in broad daylight on October 9 while travelling in his car at Prayag Marg near Shantinagar in the Capital.
Basnyat has also taken responsibility for shooting Dawa Lama, a local gangster, in April. A masked man had opened fire on Lama in his back from point blank while he was entering a fitness club.