TDoR 2020 / 2020 / January / 17 / Ajita Bhujel

Ajita Bhujel

Age 29

17 Jan 2020
Hetauda, Makawanpur (Nepal)

TDoR list ref: tgeu/18-Jan-2020/Ajita Bhujel

Ajita Bhujel
Ajita Bhujel [photo:]

Ajita's naked body was found inside a truck. An autopsy revealed that she had been raped, beaten and then strangled with an electricity cable.

On Monday 3rd February police arrested five people. Two more are thought to be at large.

MAKAWANPUR, Feb 5: Dispute over the payment after sexual intercourse has led to the murder of a woman in Hetauda, police said on Tuesday.

According to police, a group of youths killed Ajita Bhujel, 29, due to a dispute over the payment after having sexual relations with them inside a truck at Thana Bharyang in Hetauda, on January 17. Bhujel was transgender.

The gang had offered Bhujel Rs 7,000 for sex. Afterwards, the gang refused to pay the promised amount and strangled her to death in the truck using an electric cable, a police investigation has revealed. Afterwards they rushed to dump the dead body into a gorge along the Kanti Rajpath.

Organizing a press meet in Hetauda on Tuesday, police made public the five accused. Chief of the District Police Office Sushil Singh Rathaur said five local youths were held in connection with the murder of the woman from Hetauda Sub-Metropolitan City-11. Police had traced the murderers through call details of the deceased person. During investigations, police had recovered the cell phone belonging to the deceased.

Two others involved in the murder are still at large, according to police. A joint team of the Metropolitan Police Crime Division, Teku and Makawanpur District Police Office had arrested the alleged murderers in a joint operation. Those arrested are Simon Pariyar, 18, Sushil Thapa Magar, 25, Ashish Bal, 24, Buddha Lama, 21, and Alisha Pakhrin, 20.

Like far too many trans women, Ajita was a sex worker not by choice but by necessity.

Ajita Bhujel was a carefree and open person who always put her family first. Ever since her parents died when she was a child, Bhujel had been living with her grandparents and when she grew up, she became their sole source of support, both financial and emotional. But Bhujel wasn’t always comfortable in her body. She was 22 years old when she decided to transition from male to female, and although her grandparents were troubled at first, they came to accept her identity as a woman.

But as a transwoman, Bhujel had trouble finding a job. She was forced to resort to sex work so she could keep supporting herself and her elderly grandparents.

When Kiran Thapa, coordinator for the Blue Diamond Society in Hetauda, got a call from the police saying that a transgender woman had been murdered, she went into shock. But she collected herself and began calling everyone from the transgender community in Hetauda. Everyone answered, except for Bhujel. Thapa had known Bhujel for nine years. They were friends.

“She worked as a rights activist in our organisation and we had a very good connection,” said a distraught Thapa, who is also transgender. “She used to call me ‘Aama’ and used to share everything with me.”

Thapa, who immediately went to the site of the murder, described the scene as horrific. “The body seemed to have been thrown there and she was fully undressed,” she said. “Her gold ring and necklace were both missing. So was her phone.”

Although police refused to reveal details, Thapa said that the autopsy report showed that she had been raped before being struck on the head with a blunt object and then strangled to death by a wire. Police are uncertain about the motive behind the murder, but queer rights activists are concerned about the motive being a possible hate crime.

Report added: 7 Feb 2020. Last updated: 13 Jan 2021

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