A Hetauda bench of the Patan High Court has upheld the verdict of the District Court, Chitwan, acquitting all those accused of killing Krishna Prasad Adhikari of Fujel, Gorkha.

Ganga Maya and her late husband Nanda Prasad Adhikari had started a hunger strike since January 2013, demanding justice for the murder of their youngest son 16-year-old Krishna Prasad Adhikari during the Maoist insurgency.

Krishna Prasad was allegedly killed by the then Maoist rebels in Chitwan in June, 2004.

The couple had demanded that no amnesty be given to those involved in the murder of their son and that the guilty be brought to book.

However, on 22 September 2014, the 334th day of the couple’s hunger strike, Nanda Prasad died.

Though Ganga Maya continued her fast-unto-death strike even after her husband’s death, the hunger strike was postponed on the 359th day when the government promised to fulfill its commitment to address Ganga Maya’s demand for justice and pledged to look after her throughout her life.

Nanda Prasad’s body is still in the mortuary of the TU Teaching Hospital as Ganga Maya has refused to receive the body until justice is served.

Ganga Maya resumed her fast-unto-death strike on December 21, 2020 after the government failed to heed her plea. She has been staging hunger strike at the National Trauma Centre, Kathmandu for the last three-and-half months.

Ganga Maya and Nanda Prasad had lodged a complaint alleging that 13 people including Sita Adhikari and Chhavilal Poudel were involved in the murder of their son.

The Chitwan District Court had cleared all the defendants two and a half years ago in the case filed by the police on the basis of the same complaint.

A bench of Justices Chandi Raj Dhakal and Marina Shrestha of the Hetauda Bench of the Patan High Court delivered the verdict of the Chitwan District Court on Sunday.

Two and a half years ago, the Chitwan District Court had ruled that the plaintiffs did not have enough evidence to prove that the defendants had killed Krishna Prasad.

Defendants Sita Adhikari, Chhabilal Poudel, Ram Prasad Adhikari, Parshuram Poudel alias Ajiv, Himlal Adhikari, Meghnath Poudel, Vishnu Tiwari, Kali Prasad Adhikari, Bhishma Raj Poudel alias Bhimsen, Ram Prasad Adhikari, Januka Poudel and Subhadra Tiwari have been acquitted.

One accused, Rudra Acharya, is still on the run and said to be hiding in the United Kingdom.

Serious violations and abuses were committed between 1996 and 2006 during an armed conflict between government security forces and Maoist rebel forces. The former Maoist party in now part of the government.

Since the conflict ended, the former enemies have effectively joined ranks to successfully shield their supporters from accountability, fostering a culture of impunity that continues to protect those responsible for ongoing extrajudicial killings and deaths in custody allegedly resulting from torture.

A recent report the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal highlighted how little progress there has been to establish meaningful human rights protections to address conflict era violations and ongoing abuses.

The culture of impunity in Nepal is contributing to ongoing serious human rights abuses, the report said.