Patel, a reporter for Radio Nepal and vice president of the Nepal Press Union’s Rautahat branch, was shot on January 23 at his home in Rautahat District. He was taken immediately to Bir Hospital, where he died on February 5.
At about 8 p.m. on January 23, two men came to Patel’s home claiming to need help with a court case, Patel’s wife, Kiran Devi Patel, told the Kathmandu Post. When Patel asked them to return the following day, one of them began firing his gun. According to Kiran Devi Patel, the two gunmen had been following her husband earlier in the day.
On January 24, police announced that they had arrested two suspects.
However, two years later, there has been little progress in the case. On February 14, 2002, the Rautahat District Court issued an order to remand local politician Jaya Prakash Kausal to custody on suspicion of involvement in the murder, according to the Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies. Kausal is a member of the ruling Nepali Congress and is an elected member of the District Development Committee of Rautahat. Police accused him of organizing Patel’s murder.
The motive for Patel’s killing remains clear. He had close links with the opposition United Marxist and Leninist Party, and some local sources believe he may have been killed over a political dispute.