Nepal Supreme Court judge shot dead

Gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed a Nepalese Supreme Court judge on Thursday in the capital Kathmandu, sparking fears of lawlessness amid a political vacuum in the Himalayan country.

Judge Rana Bahadur Bam, who was under investigation for corruption, was being driven from a temple early in the day when the gunmen pounced, shooting him six times and injuring two others in the car, doctors and police said.

"He and a security guard were returning from Bagalamukhi temple. A motorbike blocked their way and there was gunfire at 11:08 am," said Kathmandu police spokesman Rabi Raj Shrestha.

"He succumbed to multiple bullet wounds in his armpit. We will interrogate the (judge's) driver to find out more," said Shrestha.

The shooting punctured an uneasy peace in the capital, days after Nepal's Constituent Assembly, which had been considering the case for Bam's impeachment, disbanded having failed to agree on a new constitution.

The killing came as thousands of police patrolled the streets while feuding political factions vie for power in the troubled Himalayan nation, which has no legislature and only a caretaker government ahead of elections in November.

"The Nepal government will find the criminal. I urge all Nepalis not to be filled with terror," caretaker Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said after visiting the hospital where Bam was taken.

"A high-level meeting of security committee has been called," Bhattarai told reporters outside the hospital. "We will provide extra security to all the high-level officials including judges."

Bam, a Supreme Court justice for four years, was suspended from hearing cases after being accused of taking bribes in return for giving lenient sentences to criminals.

He was under investigation by the Judiciary Council and was due to retire in a year.

Nilama Pandey, a doctor at the Norvick Hospital where Bam was taken, said the 64-year-old had been shot six times and had been pronounced dead soon after being admitted.

"He had injuries on his chest. He died after bleeding profusely. Unfortunately, we could not save him," Pandey told local television.

His bodyguard and a friend who was also in the car, Ram Giri, the father of popular Nepali comedian Deepak Raj Giri, were also shot but their lives are not in danger, Pandey added.

Bystanders told local television channels the gunshots rung out above the noise of traffic in the morning rush hour.

"We were working when we heard a huge noise. There were three of us and we rushed to the scene. Blood had splattered on the road. We didn't see how the two gunmen arrived but they left on a motorbike," one said.

A pamphlet from a previously unknown group calling itself the Nepal Vad Party was found at the scene, in the Lalitpur district, Shrestha added.

Security analyst Saroj Raj Adhikari told AFP the shooting came at a time of "confusion and uncertainty" in Nepal because of the country's political crisis.

"The murder of the judge shows that no one is safe in the country," he said. "If the current state continues, I think these groups are likely to commit more serious crimes," he added.

Adhikari said criminal groups which emerged after the end of Nepal's 1996-2006 civil war were finding it easier than ever to get hold of arms because of inadequate gun controls.

Shootings are still relatively rare in Kathmandu, however, although several public figures have recently been the target of gunmen with various motives and grievances.

In September last year, a Muslim community leader was shot dead in the centre of the capital, while five months earlier a Pakistani embassy official was shot in the hand and stomach but survived.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • State of emergency as super typhoon batters Micronesia
    State of emergency as super typhoon batters Micronesia

    Residents of the Micronesian State of Chuuk were struggling to clear the roads of huge pieces of debris and return to damaged homes Wednesday as Super Typhoon Maysak cut a destructive path across the central Pacific leaving at least five dead. "Governor Johnson Elimo declared a state of emergency (in Chuuk) due to damage by Typhoon Maysak, including five deaths," FSM President Manny Mori said in a statement, indicating foreign aid would be needed to support relief efforts. There was extensive …

  • Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines
    Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A super typhoon blamed for the deaths of at least four people on islands in the western Pacific Ocean has moved into the open sea and is expected to significantly weaken before reaching the Philippines later this weekend. …

  • Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better
    Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    President Benigno Aquino Wednesday hailed renovations to the Philippines' main international airport, expressing optimism it would soon shake off its ranking on one website as the world's worst airport. Almost a year after he personally apologised for the failure of air-conditioning at Terminal 1 of Manila's international airport, Aquino said the facility appeared to be completely different. "It is like I have entered a completely different airport," he told reporters as he inspected the …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon Avenue
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon Avenue

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6
    The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6

    Yamaha Motor Philippines (YMPH) recently held the first leg of the Yamaha Grand Prix 6 at the SM Sta. Rosa compound in Laguna. The racing categories for this year are the following: Automatic Inter-Club RaceUnderbone Inter-Club Race115 Superstock ATVega Force i SuperstockSniper 150 Open UB130 Open UBMio 125 MX i …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines
    Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines

    The Filipino Gran Turismo gamer just became eligible to become a Pro Race Car driver as Nissan Philippines Inc. launched its GT Academy here in the Philippines. The object is to find the best Grand Turismo players in both the online qualification process and participating in the live events after which they’ll compete with each other in National Finals to see who gets to attend the 3 month Race camp.  The winner gets to stay in the UK near Silverstone and will take part in UK national and club …

  • Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT
    Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT

    Sen. Sergio Osmeña III wants electricity to be exempted from value added tax under a proposed measure that will amend the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 and the Reformed VAT Law. He said the move aims to ease the burden of the public in paying high electricity rates in the country. “VAT on electricity is another burden on the already over-taxed shoulders of our people, especially those whose incomes are barely enough to cover their basic needs. Osmeña, chairman of the Senate …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options