A witness in Alam trial says he was abducted and forced to change statementGauri Shankar Ram Chamar, who was injured in the 2008 Rautahat blast, is currently under police protection.
Gauri Shankar Ram Chamar, one of the witnesses in the trial of Nepali Congress lawmaker Mohammad Aftab Alam, has said that he was abducted by Alam’s supporters and forced to file a false court testimony to protect Alam.
Chamar was injured in the 2008 Rautahat blast in which Alam has been implicated along with the murder of at least 23 people.
On Monday, Chamar had filed a written testimony at the Rautahat District Court, claiming that he was injured when a cooking gas cylinder exploded at his home.
Chamar, who is currently under police custody, retracted his statement on Tuesday, saying that he had testified under duress.
“Alam’s men abducted me and held me captive for four days. They forced me to change my statement. They also offered me money to change my statement. What I told the court yesterday (Monday) is not true. I was indeed injured in the Rautahat blast and not in the cooking gas cylinder explosion,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Nabin Karki quoted Chamar as saying.
After Chamar was forced to sign a false testimony, he was reportedly brought to the court by Alam’s supporters on a motorcycle on Monday.
Following the incident, Chamar has filed an application with the District Police Office demanding security of his life and his family members.
There have been unconfirmed reports about Alam’s people threatening, cajoling and bribing the witnesses while the Congress lawmaker stands trial for multiple felonies.
On Monday, another witness in the Alam case, Amana Khatun— the wife of Osi Akhtar, one of the persons so far believed to have been killed in the Rautahat blast—had also filed a written testimony at the court, contradicting her police statement.
Khatun told the court in her testimony that her husband was not in the country when the Rautahat blast occurred.
Khatun’s father Samasul Miya said on Monday that his daughter gave false testimony due to the pressure from some villagers, who are believed to be Alam’s supporters.
The Post could not confirm whether Khatun had changed her court statement of her own volition or due to external pressure.
District Attorney Khadindra Raj Katawal said that the statements registered by Chamar and Khatun in connection to the Alam trial were meaningless.
“The court does not entertain such claims since it is clear now as to why the witnesses changed their statements,” Katawal said.
The court began a formal trial on Alam’s case on Thursday. He was arrested on October 13 and charged with, among other crimes, holding, transporting explosive materials and burning alive the people injured in the Rautahat blast on April 9, 2008—the eve of the first Constituent Assembly elections in which Alam was vying from Rautahat constituency-2.