Arch-rival gangsters doing time at the custody of Metropolitan Police Range Office, Kathmandu.

KATHMANDU:  Dipak Manange and Chakre Milan  are two notorious hooligans in the criminal world of Kathmandu.

They are old enemies of each other. They were put behind bars many times in the past. However, they had never been together except at the time of scuffle.

The police have recently put them behind bars. They have been kept in the same room in the prison.  Though they are staying together in the same room, they have not talked to each other yet.

It is more than 15 years since their acrimonious relation was born. They were taken out of the room they have been staying in for taking their picture. They did not even look at each other while walking during the time they went out of the room and they returned to it.

After photo session was over, they entered the room. Manange slept on the bed at the corner of the room. Chakre sat on the bed a little bit away from the bed Manange sleeps on.

Gangster Chakre Milan undergoing treatment at TU Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj following scuffle with his arch-rival Dipak Manange on May 13, 2004 (File Photo courtesy: Samaya Weekly) 

A week has passed since they started staying in the same room. However, their relation is the same as it was 15 years ago.

Police detained Manange 11 days ago on charge of public offense. Though no one filed a case against him, he was arrested on the grounds of his criminal background. Chakre was also arrested two days after Manange was apprehended on the same grounds. They have been staying in the same room since May 9. But, though they share a room, they have not shared their feelings.

“Though they have been staying in the same room in the prison, they have not talked to each other yet”, said Senior Superintendent of Police (SPP) at Metropolitan Police Range Chhabi Lal Joshi. “They remain silent in the room”, added Joshi.

According to one policeman entrusted with the responsibility of keeping an eye on inmates, Manange spends most of his time by sleeping. But, Chakre spends most of his time by talking to other inmates in an interesting manner.

Both of them do not take the food provided by the prison administration that they are entitled to as an inmate. Their family members bring them food. They give the food they get from the prison administration to other inmates. Sometimes, their relatives come to meet them.

“Both of them look hopeless. Their present behavior is different from their past behavior”, said one policeman.

However, it is not the first time they have been put behind bars. They have been known in the criminal world of the capital city for the last thirty years. They have been arrested a dozen of times in the past on various criminal charges.

According to police record, it was in the year BS 2059 that Manange was first arrested. He served much of his jail terms in the prison of Soharakhutte and Kathmandu Ranges. Chakre spent most of his prison life in Maharajgunj Circle. Manange served a jail term in Dillibazar prison when he was put behind bars whether on charges of attempting to murder Chakre or on charge of attacking Kaji Sherpa and Abhishek Bikram Shah or on charge of committing organized crime seven months ago.

Chakre’s criminal background dates back to the year 2058 BS. As is indicated by police record, he was allegedly involved in the incident in which Rajibraj Shahi was attacked with a sword on May 5, 2001. He was arrested on May 21, 2006 on charge of getting involved in that incident. In addition, he was arrested on various charges including charges of opening fire on Raju Thapa and Yadav Dangol on different occasions and attacking Sanjaya Shrestha with a sword. But, he never got an opportunity to stay together with Manange while serving a jail term.

The local level elections have made it possible for these two notorious gangsters who have been standing in acrimonious relation with each other for one and a half decade to stay together in the same room in the prison house.

Their unfriendly relation was born when an armed group of 15 persons led by Manange attacked Chakre who was talking to his accomplices. His hand was almost cut off in the sharp-sword-involving attack. Though after undergoing treatment, his hand was prevented from being cut off his body, it did not return to its previous condition, thereby weakening him physically.

He was arrested on March 31, 2005 on charge of making an effort to kill Chakre. On February 5, 2007, he was released from prison after finishing serving a jail term.

They sought sanctuary in various political parties. Manange was protected by Pashupati Shamsher Rana of Rastriya Prajatantra Party. Chakre was given political protection by Pradip Nepal of CPN-UML.

They have started showing signs of old age physically. They have been unsuccessfully trying to conceal their criminal background by serving as a politician and a social activist.

Manange returned to Rastriya Prajantra Party. Chakre was leading a passive life walking around aimlessly in Chakrapath area. But the police were keeping a close tab on them.  The police were aware of the fact that Manange was actively getting involved in the election campaign intended to help  Rastriya Prajatantra Party Deputy mayoral candidate Raja Ram Shrestha win the election.   He was  arrested with a view to  preventing him from swaying the election in favor of the candidate linked to the political party he is associated with.

Though Chakre was leading a passive life, he was also arrested from his house with a view to forestalling potential threat he may pose during the local level elections.

From the way they are treating each other while staying in the same room, it is clear that though the wound Chakre sustained in his hand in the attack made by Manange 15 years ago has healed up, his malicious feeling towards Manange still exists. It is also clear from this that Manange is also reluctant to establish a friendly relation with Chakre by forgetting their past.

–  By KP Dhungana for REPUBLICA

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