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Nepalese lawmaker arrested on murder charges

Nepalese lawmaker arrested on murder charges

Police arrested a Nepalese lawmaker accused of ordering the murder of a businessman who refused to pay him extortion money, a government official said Sunday.
Officers took independent lawmaker Babban Singh into custody Saturday in Birgunj, a town 150 miles (250 kilometers) south of Katmandu, the Nepalese capital, said Shankar Prasad Koirala, the chief district administrator.
Koirala said they were investigating Singh in connection with the murder of businessman Jata Shankar Sah, who was shot and killed at his home in Birgunj in October.
Police arrested another suspect last month who claimed he was ordered by Singh to kill the man when he refused to pay, said Kedar Pant, a Birgunj police officer.
Pant said he did not know the amount of money involved. In South Asia, politicians are often accused of extorting money from businesses to meet their election costs and other expenses.
Singh is an independent lawmaker in the special assembly, which is drafting a new constitution for Nepal after it abolished the monarchy in May.
He had been in hiding in the run-up to April elections to avoid police who were investigating his alleged involvement in a 2007 anti-monarchy bombing that killed three people in Katmandu. He started attending assembly meetings when police took no action to detain him.
It was not immediately known whether police would investigate the lawmaker's possible role in the Katmandu bombing while he is in custody.
Police also are investigating Singh in connection with two other murder cases.
If convicted, Singh could be sentenced to life in prison.


Updated : 2021-10-23 00:23 GMT+08:00