Indian absconding after killing nephew in Kathmandu


Kathmandu : The murder of an Indian child that rocked Kathmandu last month has stunned the city once again with the police claim that it was committed by the boy’s uncle who used his 11-year-old nephew to start a career in kidnapping in Nepal.

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A hunt has been started for failed Indian businessman Rajesh Gupta who allegedly killed his nephew Rohit on the eve of Dussehra in the heart of the city and remained with the distressed family for almost a month, pretending to be as grief-stricken as they were.

Despite a string of child murders in the last one year, mostly committed by people who knew the victims well, Kathmandu nonetheless was shocked when police Wednesday said their investigation into the Oct 11 murder showed it was planned by the victim’s maternal uncle who came to stay with his sister in the capital after his business venture bombed.

Gupta is said to have originally come from Muzaffarpur in India to start a garments business in the east Nepal town of Biratnagar.

The venture failed and Gupta, who came to Kathmandu to stay with his sister and her family, found himself in deep financial trouble due to his fondness for gambling at the casinos and drinking.

Looking for a way to make a fast buck, Gupta ran into an old acquaintance from Biratnagar, 25-year-old Bishnu Sunwar, and the duo decided to start a career in child kidnapping.

Gupta hired a room in the capital’s New Road area, Kathmandu’s shopping centre, and kept Sunwar hidden there.

At first, the pair tried to kidnap the nephew of an employee working in Rohit’s father’s garment shop.

However, although they offered the boy a soft drink laced with a sedative, he did not fall asleep and they had to abort the attempt.

Gupta’s eyes then fell on his nephew, who trusted him and obeyed his commands without suspicion. Gupta lured the schoolboy into his den, promising to show him magic tricks.

The trusting boy allowed the two men to tie his hands and blindfold him. They then strangled him with a nylon cord. It was a cold-blooded premeditated murder with the killers having arranged in advance how to dispose of the body, the police said.

They wrapped Rohit’s body in paper and put it in a sack. Sunwar then hired a porter and told him to take the “load” to another upmarket area in the capital and leave it there.

A scavenger came across the sack and discovered the body. After the murder, Sunwar, acting on Gupta’s instructions, called up Rohit’s family and asked for a ransom of Nepali Rs.250,000 (about $4,000).

Gupta “volunteered” to take the ransom money and came back with the tale that the kidnappers had snatched it and fled without handing the boy over.

After the discovery of Rohit’s body, Gupta played a mourner, comforting his sister and brother-in-law.

This month, when the Chhat festival began, he pretended he had to go to India and vanished.

Upendra Kanta Arryal, special superintendent of police, said Sunwar had been arrested and confessed Gupta had promised to pay him Rs.35,000.

The news sent shock waves through the city with the media commenting on the complicity of the boy’s own uncle.

“Killed by his own uncle”, said the state-owned Rising Nepal daily Thursday.

“Maternal uncle killed 11-year-old,” the Himalayan Times daily said.

The news made it to the front page of even the Maoist mouthpiece, the Janadisha daily, which usually has a different perspective.

“His own uncle killed Rohit,” the daily said.