The preliminary police investigations show that Armed Police Force DIG Ranjan Koirala murdered his wife Gita Dhakal single-handed and used a government vehicle to take the body to Palung, Makawanpur.
Koirala, who is currently in custody at Hanumandhoka, told an investigating team of Nepal Police that he alone murdered Dhakal at her residence at Budhanilkantha on January 11. “During interrogations, Koirala confessed that it was a single-handed murder,” said SP Rajendra Shrestha, chief of Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka.
In a preliminary statement to police before he was taken to court for judicial custody on Sunday, Koirala had said he paid another person Rs. 400,000 to help him kill his wife.“But after the court remanded him in judicial custody, he said he killed his wife by himself,” SP Shrestha added. Kathmandu District Court remanded him to judicial custody for five days for further investigations.
Despite Koirala´s latest statement, investigators suspect that others might have been involved in taking the body to Palung and burning it.
Some progress has been made in the investigations, but officials concerned said further details will emerge only after a post-mortem.
According to the case as peiced together so far, Koirala had gone to Dakal´s Budhanilkantha residence in the afternoon of January 11 following a phone call from her saying she wanted to discuss their son´s bratabandha ceremony. “Gita called when I was roaming about with my sons at Bhatbhateni and I went to her in a taxi,” Shrestha quoted Koirala as saying. Police are yet to establish the number from which Dhakal called Koirala.
Koirala said there was a heated debate during their meeting in the bedroom and he slapped her. “I stepped on her foot and slapped her so hard she fell and banged her head on the floor, and passed out,” Koirala said during the interrogation. However, according to investigators, Koirala could not explain what he did after she fainted.
According to Dhakal´s relatives, the bedroom in her house was already locked when a maid went to see her around 3:30 p.m. the same day.
Koirala transported body in govt vehicle
It has been disclosed that Koirala used a government vehicle to transport the body of the slain Dhakal from Budhanilkantha to Palung. The investigation has gathered proof that Koirala used a Toyota Prado (BA 1 Jha 6213). Investigations also found some fur from a blanket used to wrap the body and they could smell petrol as well.
“I wrapped the dead body in the blanket and put it in the back of the vehicle, and I was also carrying 30 liters of petrol in a jerrycan,” SP Shrestha quoted Koirala as saying. Police have now taken control of the vehicle from AFP headquarters at Halchowk.
Married in 1994, the couple had been living separately for more than six years after their relations turned bitter. Their 14-year-old son was living with Koirala while the younger son, who is 10, was living with Dhakal. Dhakal, 38, had gone missing from her residence since January 11.
A joint team of Metropolitan Police Crime Division and Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandkhoka, arrested Koirala Sunday morning from Nagdhunga, Thankot while he was on his way back to Kathmandu. Koirala had gone to Palung to check if there were any remnants after police found the burnt body on January 12 and sent it to Kathmandu for a post-mortem, according to police. Police said that they had been carrying out strict surveillance on his activities and were also tracking his phone calls, after they found the dead body.
An investigation team comprising SP Shyam Khatri, DSP Dhiraj Pratap Singh, Inspector Majil Mukarung and Sub-Inspector Laxmi Shrestha was formed to probe the case.