Kaski District Police Office on Wednesday made public Kusum Paudel, 27, who was arrested in connection with the rape and murder of 10-year-old Shriya Sunar of Pumdibhumdi, Pokhara-22 in Kaski district. Paudel was paraded amidst a press conference at the Kaski District Police Office this afternoon. He was arrested from his house in Pumdibhumdi, Pokhara-22 on Tuesday night. SP Om Bahadur Rana, Chief at the Kaski District Police Office, said that Paudel admitted to have committed the crime under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.
The victim, who had been staying at her maternal uncle’s house in Pumdibhumdi, went missing since she left home at around 5:30 pm on Monday to buy biscuits at a nearby shop. Her mutilated body was found on Tuesday morning near the settlement. Following the incident, a special probe committee was formed under the command of DSP Rabindra Man Gurung of Kaski District Police Office and DSP Nabin Karki of the Ward Police Office, Baidam, to hunt the perpetrator.
The team apprehended Paudel from this house at around 8:30pm on Tuesday. Police had deployed sniffer dogs to find out the murderer after a body was recovered. Shriya’s maternal uncle’s house and Paudel’s house are about 100 metre away. A report of the autopsy carried out by the Pokhara Health Science Academy confirmed that Shriya was raped and died due to deep cuts on her head.
Paudel was consuming alcohol at a tavern in his village at around 11 am on Monday. After consuming alcohol for one hour, he went to the house of Udaya KC by carrying remaining booze. Sushil Baral, Prakash Baral and Raj Kumar BK had also accompanied him while drinking at the tavern. Later, Paudel went to a grocery shop to buy cigarettes at around 4:30 pm where he saw Shriya heading towards the shop.
Paudel who met Shriya in an isolated place lured the child by giving Rs 5 to buy chocolates. He then called Shriya to an old house and lured her by giving Rs 10 and tried to rape her. Shriya retaliated against the man who attempted to rape her. Following the incident, Paudel threw Shriya to the bush and tried to rape her. During the police interrogation, Paudel said that he strangled her to death after she started screaming for the help.
Shirya had already fallen unconscious by then. Paudel then repeatedly bludgeoned her in the head and face with a stone thinking that she had died. After committing the crime, Paudel reached the main road and washed his hands and legs in a nearby tap and headed o a grocery shop to light a cigarette. In the meantime, Paudel’s wife saw him and took him to the house. Paudel then washed all his clothes and put them for drying.
According to a local, Paudel family had migrated to Pumdibhumdi from Arukharka of Syangja. He used to disappear for two-three months by stealing things from the village. He was addicted to alcohol and marijuana. He used to do menial work sometime. He has a wife and an eight-year-old son. Paudel, who had gone missing since he left home with Rs 50,000 that his wife had acquired in loan to support the education of their son, had showed up in the village only three weeks ago.