Rising murders in Madhesh raise alarms over escalating violence in small disputes

murder women murdered - killed
The occurrence of similar incidents in different areas of Madhesh Province is heightening concerns about the growing number of murder cases in the region.

On October 30, Rupesh Swarnakar, 39, the principal of Bal Ekta Boarding School was shot dead in Bara. A group of four unidentified armed men fired four rounds of bullets when he was returning home from an eatery near the school.

Swarnakar, critically injured, was initially taken to Kalaiya Hospital. Due to the severity of his condition, he was later transferred to Vayodha Hospital in Birgunj, as the provincial hospital could not provide the necessary treatment. Unfortunately, he passed away during his treatment.

After the incident, police arrested six individuals, including a former teacher from the same school, on charges of murder. Bara Police Spokesperson DSP Dadhi Raj Neupane said that three of six are Indian gunmen hired to kill Sarnakar.

The murder of the school principal underscores a troubling pattern of recent homicides in Madhesh. Recent data suggests that extreme violence is erupting even from minor disputes and conflicts. In the past four months, eight people have lost their lives in Bara alone, with financial and relationship issues identified as the primary motives behind these killings. The occurrence of similar incidents in different areas of Madhesh Province is heightening concerns about the growing number of murder cases in the region.

Murder in simple issue 

On October 26, the lifeless body of a 19-year-old, drenched in blood, was discovered in Pipra Rural Municipality of Mahottari. The locals promptly notified the police after discovering the body. Investigations confirmed the deceased’s identity as Basanta Paswan from Pipra Rural Municipality.

The police have arrested two people, Deepak Malik and Amit Malik, on charges of murdering Paswan.

According to DSP Dilip Kumar Giri, the spokesperson of the District Police in Mahottari, Deepak and Amit were visiting their maternal uncle’s house, located near Paswan’s residence. While in the village, the three attended the Durga Mela. During the event, they purchased a bracelet that looked like gold. Paswan borrowed the bracelet and took a photograph with it. When he was asked to return it, he refused.

In light of Paswan’s refusal, both Deepak and Amit resorted to stabbing him with a knife before fleeing the scene.

Growing number of murders 

The mentioned cases serve as examples of a concerning trend. Recently, there has been a notable rise in murder incidents within Madhesh province. Police data indicates that within just three months of the current fiscal year, 38 people have been murdered across eight districts of Madhesh province.

According to Madhesh Police, eight murders occurred in Bara, seven in Saptari, five each in Parsa and Sarlahi, four each in Dhanusha and Rautahat, and two each in both Mahottari and Siraha.

Looking at the data from the last three years, Madhesh Province has recorded 332 murders. These statistics underscore a worrisome trend, say Nepal Police.

According to Shyam Mahato, the spokesperson of the provincial police office, 93 murders were reported in 2020/21, 96 in 2021/22 and 106 in 2022/23.

According to DSP Dhundiraj Neupane, among the seven murders in Saptari in the current fiscal year, motives behind the incidents included relationships, family disputes, and financial conflicts.

Terror in society 

Representational image: A murder
Representational image

The rise in murders over minor disputes has left citizens feeling increasingly insecure, instilling a sense of fear in society. Former SSP Govinda Sah, attributes this unsettling trend to political patronage, which he believes plays a significant role in motivating individuals to resort to murder.

“Politicians protect these criminals. That allows criminals to continue their criminal activities,” says Sah. 

Furthermore, he stresses that a lack of awareness about the law and inadequate parenting contribute to the escalating occurrence of murders, even in minor disputes.

Political analyst Bhogendra Jha says, “The perpetrators of serious crimes receive presidential pardons. While there has long been criminalisation in politics, we now see a politicisation of crime. In many criminal cases, political elements are involved, leading to a surge in crime rates.”

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Mahato is an Onlinekhabar correspondent based in Janakpur.

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