Almost a year on, Jha murder case still remains a mysteryWhile the Metropolitan Crime Division has claimed to have performed an appreciable job in the past one year, it has been unable to solve the mystery behind the murder of former ambassador of Nepal to France Keshav Raj Jha.
While the Metropolitan Crime Division has claimed to have performed an appreciable job in the past one year, it has been unable to solve the mystery behind the murder of former ambassador of Nepal to France Keshav Raj Jha.
Jha, 80, was found stabbed to death on August 20 last year at his residence in Babarmahal, Kathmandu.
“The investigation over the murder of former ambassador Jha is still ongoing. A separate team has been looking into the case,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Dhiraj Pratap Singh. “Since it was a high-profile murder, we have to explore it from various angles such as financial, political, family issues and personal issues, among others. The case will be solved soon.”
According to a senior officer at the division, who chose to remain anonymous, the lack of evidence has been a major obstacle in the case.
“Some major suspects in the murder were released due to lack of evidence against them. The investigation is ongoing with focus on finding some crucial evidence,” said the officer.
On September 14, Sanu Kanchha, Aita Singh and Jay Bahadur, all of whom who had worked for the Jha family, were released on bail. The trio had been insisting their innocence from the beginning and their innocence was later proven after a polygraph test showed they were speaking the truth.
Briefing the division’s performance in the past one year on Thursday, Singh said that apart from the Jha case, the division has been able to solve various high-level cases and arrested a number of culprits over the past year.
From April 18, 2018, to May 7, 2019, the division arrested a total of 686 culprits in connection with 448 cases.
It arrested senior leaders of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal including in-charge of the party’s mid-central command Hemanta Prakash Oli ‘Sudarshan’ and party’s army bureau chief Bijay Shrestha ‘Prajwalan’. Along with senior leaders, the division had also arrested the major person of the Chand-outfit who planted explosive devices near the Ncell headquarters at Nakkhu, Lalitpur, on February 22, and at Basundhara, Kathmandu, on March 8. The explosion at Nakkhu had claimed one human life.
On March 9, the division had arrested Shiva Dhimal and Dikendra Rai from Kathmandu while Rajiv Tamang and Num Bahadur BK were arrested from Kavre. The four had planted the explosives at Nakkhu and Basundhara.
The division had also arrested four accused—Ambar Bahadur Rana, Lopsang Lama, Roshan Budathoki and Maya Sherchan Basnet—involved in the murder of Sharad Kumar Gauchan, chairman of the Federation of Contractors’ Association of Nepal.
A dozen arms were also seized by the division from six different individuals who had permission from the government to keep the weapons but were misusing them to terrorise the public.
However, the division courted controversy over the encounter of two kidnappers—Ajay Tamang and Gopal Tamang—at Bhaktapur on August 6 last year. The families of the duo had claimed the encounter to have been a extrajudicial killing. The duo had kidnapped and killed 11-year-old Nishan Khadka.
Two new chiefs at Crime Division and Metropolitan Police Range
At the briefing, a change in leadership at the Metropolitan Crime Division was declared, with Singh being transferred to the training directorate at the Nepal Police headquarters on May 7. Singh has been succeeded by Senior Superintendent of Police Sahakul Thapa, who is scheduled to join the office on Friday.
Change in leadership roles have also been made at the Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu.
On May 7, Senior Superintendent of Police Basanta Lama, former chief of the range, was transferred to the Narcotics Control Bureau. Lama has been replaced by Senior Superintendent of Police Uttam Raj Subedi, former spokesperson for Nepal Police.
“The range and the division have been working together for a long time. With new chiefs, we will be making the Capital more safer,” Subedi told the Post.