Prisoner pardoned by President arrested for extortionThe accused, with a lengthy criminal history, had served four and a half years in prison before being pardoned by President Paudel on Republic Day
On Monday, police arrested Ramchandra Thapa, a 55-year-old man who was among the convicts pardoned by President Ramchandra Paudel on the recommendation of the government on the occasion of Republic Day on May 29.
Thapa had served four and a half years in prison before he was pardoned by the President. He was arrested on Monday on extortion charges. He was made public amid a press conference on Tuesday by the Chitwan District Police.
According to police, Thapa threatened a local pharmacy owner Somraj Subedi on October 25. The police had kept Thapa under surveillance after Subedi filed a complaint against him for making threats.
Thapa, a permanent resident of ward 2 of Hetauda Sub-Metropolitan City, was living in ward 9 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City. According to Chitwan Police, Thapa was arrested from Malpot Chowk in ward 10 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Bijayaraj Pandit, spokesman of the Chitwan District Police, said that Thapa demanded Rs2.5 million from Subedi and threatened to kidnap his son and shoot him if Subedi failed to pay the amount.
“After Subedi’s complaint, a team led by Police Inspector Umashankar Prasad Sah started surveillance on Thapa and managed to arrest him with sufficient evidence for an extortion charge,” said Pandit.
“Thapa was arrested from a prearranged location. He had a mobile phone and a SIM card that he had used to issue threats against Subedi,” said Pandit.
According to Sah, Thapa has a lengthy criminal history. “Thapa was first arrested on June 10, 2009, by the Chitwan Police on theft charges. On June 19 of the same year, another case of armed robbery was registered against him with the police,” he said.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Pandit said that on May 4, 2016, the Satdobato Police, Lalitpur, registered a case against Thapa under the Drug Offenses Act. “Later, an armed robbery case was filed against Thapa on November 29, 2018 in Chitwan. The Chitwan District Court sentenced him to nine years imprisonment. After completing four and a half years of imprisonment, he was released from Bharatpur Prison through a presidential pardon,” said Pandit.
The President pardoned 19 persons serving jail terms after being convicted by various courts. In addition, the President also pardoned 482 others. The 19 were pardoned based on the government’s recommendation while the 482 for having completed 50 percent of their jail terms and demonstrating good behaviour.
The Cabinet had made the recommendation per Article 276 of the Constitution of Nepal. The President may, under the law, grant pardons, suspend, commute or remit any sentence passed by any Court, judicial or quasi-judicial institution or administrative authority or institution, the article says.
There is a practice of pardoning inmates and convicts by the President, on the Cabinet's recommendation, on Republic Day, Constitution Day and during Dashain.