Five arrested in connection with murder of transgender woman in HetaudaPolice said that Ajita Bhujel had been murdered after a dispute over payment for sex.
The Makwanpur District Police Office on Tuesday arrested five people in connection with the January 18 murder of Ajita Bhujel.
Police said they were able to make the arrest after tracking the mobile phone used by Bhujel, a transwoman.
The arrestees have been identified as Sushil Thapa Magar, 25, Simon Pariyar, 18, Alisha Pakhrin, 20, Ashish Bal, 24, and Buddha Lama, 21, all residents of Hetauda.
Makwanpur police chief Superintendent Sushil Singh Rathour said that preliminary investigations showed that Pariyar, who worked as a truck conductor, met with Magar and two others at a tea stall in Hetauda and agreed to pay Rs 7,000 in exchange for sexual relations with Bhujel on the night of January 17. According to police, the four had consensual sex inside the truck (Na 6 Kha 6527) that Magar was driving.
A dispute arose when Bhujel asked for pay and the four strangled her with a wire inside the truck.
Following the murder, the four drove off in the truck and disposed of Bhujel’s body at Kyampadanda road in Hetauda. Magar also took Bhujel's mobile phone and gave it to his friend Lama, who then passed the phone to Ashish Bal who in turn gave it to his wife Pakhrin. Police were able to track the phone after Pakhrin began using it on February 3.
Pariyar, in a police statement, said that he had had a dispute with the truck owner and had driven the truck on the night of January 17 with an intention to crash it. After he was not able to find an appropriate place to crash the truck, he stopped at a tea stall in the Hetauda bus park, where he met Magar.
Rathour said Magar had recently been released from jail after serving three years on theft charges.
Besides Pariyar and Magar, the two others involved in the murder are on the run. Police said they are the driver and his helper from another truck but have yet to establish their identities.
Bhujel's bruised and naked body was discovered on January 18. After trouble finding a job, she had resorted to sex work to support herself and her elderly grandparents.