BARA, Feb 24: Had he not been killed, Madhav Thapa would have left for his office on a bicycle Wednesday as well. But Thapa´s years of service came to an abrupt end Tuesday evening when he was shot dead by an armed outfit.
Thapa had just 18 months left before becoming a pensioner.
Non gazetted first class officer Thapa, 55, who worked at the Land Revenues Office, was watching news on television at his residence when a bullet that entered through a hole in the window struck him.Thapa was a resident of Barewa, Kalaiya-10.
The Akhil Tarai Mukti Morcha led by Jai Krishna Goit that owned up responsibility of the murder has accused him of being a corrupt official. But people close to Thapa said he was an honest man.
“We are puzzled by the murder,” said Thapa´s colleague Budhan Prasad Yadav.
Many surmise that Thapa might have met the fate as he was never involved in the financial irregularities and manipulated by the land mafia. “This could have angered some people,” another colleague said.
Others suspect that Thapa could have fallen prey to the established practice of finishing off people who are seen as impediments, and then putting the responsibility on armed groups.
“During his long career, there is no record pointing that he was involved in irregularities,” said lawyer Om Prakash Kesari. “He had the reputation of an honest man,” he added.
Impunity has led to incidents like murder, according to Kesari.
According to his neighbors, Thapa´s father financed his education with the proceeds from a paan shop.
“Thapa himself was raising four children with what he made from him job,” said Ghanashyam Adhikari, a neighbor. “His family has lost its breadwinner,” Adhikari added. Thapa is survived by his wife, two sons, and two daughters.
Civil servants and commoners organized a rally in Kalaiya on Wednesday to protest the murder. Participants demanded compensation and employment to the bereaved family, and action against the culprits. They also demanded that Thapa be declared a martyr, and arrangements be made for the security of civil servants.
All government offices in Bara were shut on Wednesday to protest the murder.
Trade unions have appealed for the closure of all government offices in Narayani zone until Friday.
“If our demands are not met by Friday evening, we will go for an indefinite strike,” said Ashok Rauniyar, chief of Government Employees Union, Bara.
Chief District Officer Basanta Upadhyay said the higher-ups have been informed about the demands.