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Life Imprisonment to Murderer of Journalist Poudel

A welcome deed, Jhapa District Court on February 25, 2013 delivered a verdict awarding life imprisonment with confiscation of all properties to Yuvraj Giri, the main accused behind the murder of journalist Yadav Poudel, reporter with the Rajdhani daily and the Avenues Television.

Similarly, other accomplices as Phul Maya Karki (Manju) has been slapped three-year imprisonment while her husband Somnath Dhakal one year and Madan Rai six months.

A single bench of District Judge Giriraj Mani Gautam delivered the verdict.

Journalist Poudel who was also the Executive Editor of the Mechi Times daily published from Jhapa district was murdered near the Birtamod-based bus park in the night of April 3, 2012.

A permanent resident of Sijuwa, Morang, a district in the southern plain in the east of the country, had a decade long journalism career in the neighboring Jhapa district.

Freedom Forum welcomes the court verdict as it would obviously help deter further crimes, provide relief and justice to the agonized family and the moral boost to the fellow journalists who are working for professional journalism in different parts of the country. Also, it is a step forward on checking growing impunity in the country.

Background Story: Main accused Giri, following a minor dispute had pushed journalist Poudel down from the rooftop of a three-story hotel and left to death near the Birtamod bus park of Jhapa district. The hotel was owned by Manju and Somnath Dhakal.

Murderer Giri and journalist Poudel had dinner together in the night and were said to be together to discuss about the newspaper they were planning to publish, the probe team of the Freedom Forum said, adding Giri's plan to discuss about the publication of newspaper-Ujjyalo Purva- from the Nepali New

Year (April 13, 2012) turned into a maneuver to finish off journalist Poudel.

The probe team had concluded that the news journalist Poudel used to write against the social malpractices and evils in his area might be to the root cause of his murder.