Janakpur: Two years since the murder of journalist Uma Singh, several involved parties have still not been brought to justice.
Janakpur-based reporter Uma Singh was murdered in her rented room on 11 January 2009. Her mother Sushila Devi Singh filed a murder case against 14 persons in Dhanusha District Court, but only four were detained in Jaleshwar jail. One of the accused was released on parole and another on Rs 20,000 bail, but the rest are still at large. According to the district police office, three of them are from Siraha district and all the rest are from India.
Sushila, who lost her husband and only son during the insurgency, started living in India when she received threats to withdraw her case. She approached the local administration and FNJ for security, but was ultimately forced to leave the country. The case has been stuck in the courts in the absence of the plaintiff.
Swami Yadav, who took responsibility for Uma Singh's murder, has been found to be involved in many criminal cases since. He is still at large and actively engaged in operating his network.
"The plaintiff has not been in contact with the court for two years," said lawyer Rekha Jha during a program to commemorate the second anniversary of Uma Singh's death. "Even the media has not shown interest in bringing the culprits to justice," she said.
Some lawyers have voluntarily spoken on behalf of the plaintiff at hearings. But Sushila Singh's absence has weakened the case against those accused. A lawyer has questioned the intention of the police administration. "In many instances, the police side with the defendant, and do not inform the plaintiff of court memos," he said.
When Uma Singh's father and brother were murdered in Siraha, she moved to Janakpur and started a career as a reporter with Radio Today. She also used to run a radio show. Among other issues, Singh was known for her investigative reporting on violence against women, and had published an article about the murders of her relatives and public land encroachment.