Nepal SC judge shot dead

Nepal Supreme Court's judge Rana Bahadur Bam, facing impeachment proceedings for corruption was on Thursday shot and killed by motorcycle-borne gunmen in the center of the capital, shattering an uneasy peace.

Bam, 64, and his bodyguard were shot as he emerged from the Baglamukhi temple at 11 am on the banks of Bagmati river in Sankhamool area of the city, police said.

They said that the armed gunmen blocked his car with their motorcycle, shot at him before making their getaway.

The judge and his bodyguard were rushed to nearby Norvic International Hospital for treatment where he succumbed to his injuries. The condition of the bodyguard was stated to be serious.

Police said they were yet to question the bodyguard, who was an eye-witness to the killing. The shooting incident came as the Nepalese capital was under heightened security following a political crisis in the country, with the opposition and caretaker Maoist government at loggerheads.

Justice Bam was being investigated for allegedly being involved in a bribery case involving release of three criminals serving long jail sentences. He was barred from hearing cases.

But in a reprieve for the judge, the country's constituent assembly which was hearing his impeachment case was disbanded as the political parties failed to meet the deadline to frame the new constitution.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Chief Justice Khila Raj Regmi visited the judge before he died in the hospital.

Bhattarai has directed Home Minister Bijaya Gachhadar to investigate the incident.
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