Kathmandu: Protesters paralysed the temple town of Lalitpur in Nepal`s Kathmandu Valley on Friday demanding stringent punishment for the murder of a college girl who was gunned down by contract killers hired by her boyfriend.
Rosy Maharjan`s weeping brother Rajiv, mother and other relatives took part in the public demonstrations that shut down transport, educational institutions, shops and markets.
The shocked community demanded a more competent probe into the killing and tough punishment for the five young men said to be involved in the murder.
"My daughter received a call from the boy (described as her boyfriend by police) and said she was going to college on Friday (August 05) to meet him," Rosy`s mother told the media.
"I told her not to go but she blew me a kiss and said she would be back soon. Why did they have to kill her?"
Police said the 21-year-old, who was studying business administration, left home on her two-wheeler on the morning of August 05 and never came back.
About 12 hours later, her worried family received a call from her mobile phone. "The male caller said he had Rosy under their control," the girl`s mother said.
"He demanded NRS (Nepalese Rupees) 30 lakh. Otherwise, he threatened they would circulate videos of her that would destroy her reputation. Then he disconnected the phone without even telling where we should go with the money."
Police said Rosy`s boyfriend, 21-year-old Subhash Upreti, plotted her abduction and murder three weeks ago after she decided to break up with him.
He had four accomplices, all of them in their early 20s. They include 24-year-old Raju Lohar who fired the shot from close range that killed Rosy.
Lohar was reportedly paid nearly NRS 200,000 by Upreti, who, according to media reports, had returned to Kathmandu just six months ago from London where he had apparently gone to study.
Upreti called Rosy to a deserted place where the others were waiting for her. Lohar then shot her in the temple.
Police found her decomposed body from a forested area in Lalitpur on Wednesday and arrested Upreti and two others soon afterwards. Lohar is absconding.
Rosy`s relatives claimed on Friday that she was gangraped. They accused the police of covering up the attack. They were also angered by reports that Rosy and Upreti got married in a temple.
Rosy belonged to the Newar community and Friday`s protests were led by the Jyapu Samaj, a Newari group.
Residents marched in the deserted streets bearing Rosy`s photographs and demanding capital punishment for the killers.
Though hardened by a 10-year insurrection that killed over 17,000 people, Nepal in peace time has been repeatedly stunned by senseless murders committed by youngsters, ranging from teens to young men in their 20s.
An earlier student murder that triggered days of public protests had a teenaged school girl acting as the killer`s accomplice.
Sociologists blame the insurgency for affecting young minds negatively, especially the culture of ensuing impunity that saw no one brought to justice for killings and tortures committed by both the rebels and security forces during the decade of violence.