Nepali Times
The assassin creed

The recent spate of murders and terrorist attacks in Nepal has been reported in the media as individual events, no one has tried to connect the dots. These were targeted killings, which are actually political assassinations. But there is so much deniability and things are so murky, that most commentators have shied away from the subject.

On 30 April, in the run up to the constitution deadline, a bomb went off at the Ramananda Chowk in Janakpur targeting Maithili cultural activists protesting the one- or two-Madhes formula. As long as there was to be
identity-based federalism, they felt, their Maithili identity entitled them to their own province in the mid-eastern Tarai. The bomb killed five people, including well-known theatre artist Ranju Jha.

There was muted reaction to this attack in the national media which, as now, was preoccupied with political shenanigans in the capital. The Madhesi Front had never been too keen on the Maithili activists, and one serving minister even publicly put down the efforts of those who had just been killed. But the bomb served its purpose: not only did the demand for a Mithila province die out, so did similar demands in the Bhojpuri and Awadhi regions of the Tarai.

Until investigations (or history) tells us who killed Ranju Jha and her fellow-activists, we must surmise that the deed was done by a force, group or sub-group that were against the goal of the Janakpur Maithili activists, which was to insist on multiple identities of Nepal's Tarai-Madhes.

Exactly a month later, on 31 May, Justice Rana Bahadur Bam was ambushed and assassinated while on his way from a temple to his Supreme Court chamber in Kathmandu. The killing was meant to send a message because the two gunmen pursued not only the fleeing Justice Bam, but also his bodyguard and friend.

Until investigations are successful in catching those who ordered the killing, the best we can do is come up with an educated guess as to who would have the motive. The choice of Justice Bam as victim could have been calibrated, given that he was under the cloud of a possible impeachment. This meant that the public's mind would be diverted from the possibility of an assassination to one of an individual crime arising possibly out of some ethical lapse on the part of the departed judge.

This would camouflage the real motive: to make the justice system feel vulnerable and weakened. There is no question that the Supreme Court in particular has held on to the ideals of rule of law and due process in a country where there are by now radical right and left forces bent on dismantling institutions of the state one by one to build their own base.

According to this logic, Justice Bam's assassination would also send a message to all involved in the law and justice machinery: judges in the central and district courts to administrators, police, lawyers and human rights activists.

The unsolved murders of Ranju Jha and her colleagues as well as that of Justice Rana Bahadur Bam will aggravate impunity and weaken the state. To halt this tragic drift, the first step would be to analyse these two tragedies and come to our own conclusions on what they portend, and who was responsible.

Read also:
Paradigm shrift, RUBEENA MAHATO
Media loses its political independence when it becomes unviable as a business

The messenger is to blame, ANURAG ACHARYA
The platform for debating national problems has itself become a part of the problem

1. Gyanu Adhikari
Very appropriate editorial. But I disagree with the thesis. The solution is not, as you say, to "come to our own conclusions on what they portend, and who was responsible". That'll lead to too many fingers pointed at too many directions, and that'll add to the chilling effect the murder seeks to create. The solution is to demand a prompt investigation. And the Court should take the lead on this because it is a member of the legal fraternity who was murdered. 

2. Sheila Pradhan
The Maoist are too blame ! No question ! Why ! The Maoist is a violent Party. The Maoist have killed without shame many times. The Maoist want capture power through the barrel of a gun. Sidekick of Dahal, why is Gachhadhar still in office. What does this man do to protect us. Nothing ! Why is the Police Chief still in office. Who can answer these questions. Nepal has become a violent country, wonder what King Birendra would say about the term, " Zone of Peace". Nepal is desparately seeking a man of honor and valor to deliver us from the criminal politicians of today. Crooked politicians are thr root cause of all the problems we see in Nepal today. Lets do something ! Lets just do IT.   

3. Kiran Rai
OK,  why are only the defenceless and common people  (   except the SC Judge),  being killed or assassinated, ??? So who will be the next target?  Who is carrying out these attacks. The Police Force is uselss and corrupted like any other govt. agency. Seriously, for once, it would be poetic justice to see the few  high profile, well known corrrupted person to be the ones to pay the price for their inhuman crimes against Nepal. Stop killing the innocent, if you have the guts and what it takes, go after the people who really deserve to get knocked off. Only cowards kill innocent and defenceless.     

4. Shishir Mani Pradhan
See, the fact of the matter is corruption will prevail even if all the politicians are replaced with new ones. Commerce is the way of the world. Politicians are haunted with perpetual greed like all of us. None of them are chanting holier than thou rants. What we need is to devise a system that regulates the functionality of the Government (inclusive of corruption). Case in point - If you want to decrease the rate of sex-related crimes, you legalize prostitution. As for the killing goes � that's just a casualty of war; everything's fair in love and war.

5. Kamal Kishor
Agree. Certain players are bent on creating fear psycho to un-nerve the country on any pretext. The clear message is Nepal has become un-governable. 

Who is served? 

6. Chiranjibi Nepal

Trere is no Specific rule and regulation in the country. The criminal can do anything whatever they like. Police can't do anything such this ancident. They can't find the criminal nor they investigate porparly, every time they fail to catch the criminal not only the justic Bam and Ranju Jha. There are high number of social criemes happinning in the country. number of reporter are threaten by the unknown person, many child are forcely abused in the society. They can't freely move in the out of the house.

So the government should reduce these type of activity which is rised higly in the country and the government should have established the environment that  every person can fell safe in the house and the out of the house.  

7. Srijana Shrestha
We must all be Ass or assinine to put up with the aging old leaders of the sane old 4 parties. How can these NC or UML or Maoist that have brought Nepal to her knees,  come up with any solutions. Get this straight -   Koirala or Nepal, Jhala Nath or Dahal or Deuba, this sorry lot will never be able to solve the problems of Nepal. Together, they have wasted 20 years, man.  Is that a joke ??????  We must purge all these criminals and make a clean start. Seriously, its time to round up the political cattle for all the politics in Nepal is a malpractice.      

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)