Category: Mass Murder
Date: December 14, 2005
Crime: Known as the 'Nagarkot Massacre', Thapa, an off-duty soldier entered a local temple with an assault rifle and started shooting the villagers praying inside. He killed 11 and wounded 19 more before being gunned down by his fellow soldiers who were called to the scene.
Biography: Because of the political climate in Nepal, there is very little information available about Basudev Thapa prior to the date that he committed his attack on local villagers during a holiday festival. It has been reported that Thapa had encountered difficulties with local youths on several occasions outside of the military base where he served as a guard. On the date of the killings, a drunken Thapa, who was off duty at the time and attending the festival, got into a physical altercation with several youths. He fought them off with a knife and threatened to come back and kill them all. He stormed off on his motorcycle and returned to the military barracks. There, he armed himself with at least one assault rifle (conflicting reports indicate that a second rifle was found in a pond near the site of the shootings) and returned to the village. He then fired a few shots in the air and as the villagers scrambled to find cover, he began shooting them at random. Most of the victims were shot in the chest or abdomen as Thapa fired more than 200 rounds. Witnesses claim that Thapa was brought down when men from the military base arrived on the scene and shot Thapa through the chest from behind. Further accounts state that the military immediately began to clean the scene of the shooting, thereby removing any evidence before authorities had even arrived on the scene to investigate. To date, there are still differing opinions and accounts about whether Thapa acted alone or had other military shooters with him during the massacre. The military holds that Thapa acted alone and that his death was a self-inflicted gun shot wound.
Protestors in Nepal after the 'Nagarkot Massacre'