Biratnagar, June 21
Morang police claimed that auditor Prabal Ghimire of Biratnagar had drowned in the Singhiya River.
Ghimire’s body was found in Singhiya River of Biratnagar on 22 January 2019.
After five months of investigation, police claimed that Ghimire, under the influence of alcohol, had drowned in Singhiya River.
Family members, however, have rejected the police claim and stated that the investigation had been ineffective.
Morang SP Biswo Adhikari claimed that the incident had occurred accidentally owing to excessive liquor intake. “We probed the incident for five months. But, we have not been able to trace anyone’s involvement,” Adhikari said, adding, “The post-mortem report sates Ghimire died due to drowning.”
According to SP Adhikari, Ghimire had consumed excessive liquor on the night of June 21. He had reached Singhiya River as he had lost his way while heading home. “When his body was recovered, Ghimire’s pant zipper was open. It suggest that he might have gone to the river to relieve himself,” Adhikari said.
A probe is a never ending process, but we have not found evidence to call the incident a murder, said SP Adhikari.
Ghimire used to carry out auditing of around 50 big companies in Biratnagar. He had reached Nanda Kishor Rathi’s office after he was called for auditing on January 21. He had reached Rathi’s office on his motorbike.
The next morning, he was found dead.
Since the body was found in suspicious state, police had probed around 6,000 mobile numbers, said SP Adhikari. “We probed 6,000 mobile numbers, but could not find one linked to his death,” Adhikari added.
After consuming liquor in three hotels, he had called his wife and son at Tinpani Chowk as Ghimire had lost his way. Police reported that he had called wife 16 times, but had failed to give his location. His phone had switched off at 10:42pm. Despite the frantic search carried out by his family members and relatives, they could not find him. The next morning, his body was found in Singhiya River.
Ghimire had parked the bike at Rathi’s place. Rathi and he had gone to Aamaj Bar and Restaurant.
He had held a meeting with Rathi, his driver Pashupati Khadka and bar owner Saugat Nepal.
While at the bar, they agreed to meet Nanda Kishor’s relative from Urlabari Anil Chandak at Moon Hotel. He also met Binaya Karna, Ashok Atal, Arun Kumar Rathi, Chandak’s driver Chandra Bahadur Darji and hotel owner Bijayaraj Prasai at the hotel.
After that, Ghimire’s next stop was Lotus Hotel. Ghimire, Anil Kumar, Binay, Arun Kumar Rathi and hotel owner Manoj Shrestha had dined there.
Chandak’s private car had dropped him in front of Biratnagar Ward Police Office. CCTV footage shows that Ghimire had walked down the road leading to the Office of Morang Business Organisation. Ghimire had walked along the road leading to Dipak Agrawal’s house though he had got off in front of the police office saying that he wanted to go to Tinpani chowk.
As Dipak showed him the direction, Ghimire had caught the road to the north. But, Ghimire happened to reach Singhiya River along Pandit Meghnath street in his alcohol-induced almost unconscious state, said SP Adhikari.
Meanwhile, the deceased’s family members and relatives accused police of conducting ineffective probe. “Police investigation from day one was not thorough and an effective. Initially, police termed the incident murder, but now they are calling it an accident. So, we doubt the probe,” Ghimire’s elder brother Rabin Ghimire said.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 22, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.