A landlord and his two sons were arrested on the charge of murdering their tenant Sambhu Mahato, an Indian National, over a trivial issue at Bhajungle of Kirtipur.

The incident occurred on Friday when Prem Maharjan attacked Mahato with a wooden plank. Mahato was living in two rented rooms of Maharjan’s house, along with his wife and three sons.

But the landlord was not in good terms with Mahato over the issue of rent. Mahato, a fruit vendor, used to pay Rs 4,000 for the two rooms, and had pleaded with the landlord to reduce the rent as his business had been hampered due to the month-long lockdown.

After a long dispute, the tenant’s family had paid Rs 8,000 out of the total Rs 12,000. Humiliated by the landlord’s constant nagging, Mahato’s family had left the room on Thursday.

Mahato’s wife in several YouTube interviews said that the decision must have angered the landlord. The day after they left the room, Mahato had gone to Maharjan’s house to collect a water jar.

“The angry landlord was just waiting to take revenge, He attacked my husband with a wooden plank and killed him.”

Police said that Maharjan had struck Mahato twice on the head and chest with the wooden plank.

“We had paid all dues, but the landlord killed our father for no reason,”

Mahato’s second son Rahul said.

The family has filed murder charge against six members of the family, including the landlord’s wife and two married daughters.

However, only three persons — Prem and his two sons Prameshwor and Pramod — are now in police custody as Kathmandu District Court remanded only them to seven days in police custody. Deputy Superintendent of Police Rukesh Tandukar of Kirtipur Police Circle said police were investigating the case from all angles although Maharjan has pleaded guilty.

Meanwhile, Mahato’s family and friends have been staging protest in front of Kirtipur police station demanding free and fair investigation.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 15, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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