27 April 2019: Sudarshan Gautam, originally from Nepal’s Ramechhap district, was last year convicted of being a co-conspirator in a human trafficking racket that tried to smuggle three Nepalese women into USA.
One of the three women died in the sea, en route to US from Haiti, while two were repatriated to Nepal by Bahamian authorities after they were rescued in extremely critical conditions. The women were put to harrowing journeys across many problematic parts of the world.
The southasia.com.au contacted Mr Gautam for his comments on the development but has not been heard from.
Nepal Police officials told local media that a Red Notice could not be issued earlier due to “pressure” from public due to Mr Gautam’s social status in his native Nepal.
He became famous in 2013 when he refused to use artificial hands to climb Mt Everest which he successfully ascended.
A year later, he played a lead character in Nepali-language movie Himmatwali against popular actor Rekha Thapa.
Police told Kathmandu media outlets that Mr Gautam and his co-traffickers presented the three women as “film crew” to bring them to Haiti from where they were put in a ferry bound for the United States.
The hundred odd passengers of different nationalities that were in the ill-fated ferry became stranded after its engine died in the middle of the sea. According to reports, the passengers were left without food and water for a fortnight before they were rescued by Bahamian coast guards. It was then, before their rescue, that one of the Nepalese women became gravely ill, later dying. Authorities believe the deceased victim was thrown overboard to prevent possible outbreak of disease.
The celebrity double amputee’s fall from grace began when his victims returned back to Nepal and filed complaint with the Metropolitan Crime Division in 2017.
“Even Gautam was handed a jail term on June 18, we could not issue a red notice following external pressure,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Umesh Raj Joshi was quoted as saying by MyRepublica.
A Nepalese court had convicted Mr Gautam of human trafficking on June 18 last year.
Mr Gautam details how he lost his both arms in his website:
“A tragic accident, however, turned my whole life upside down.In June 1994, I arrived in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, on vacation. One day, I was flying a kite from a rooftop. The kite got stuck on the overhead electric wires. I did not realize that there were some naked wires. What’s even worse: I was totally oblivious to the fact that the wires carried an electricity of 11,000volts.
“Naive as I was at the time, I used an iron rod to free the kite.I always shudder to think what happened after that.My father and uncle took me immediately to the Nepal Army Hospital.
“When I regained consciousness, I found that both my hands were completely burnt. After a few days at the hospital, doctors amputated both my arms. The unthinkable consequences of the accident led to the amputation of not just of my dreams but my whole future! My life became a burden onto myself.
“The days and weeks after my arms were amputated seem like dreadful memories. It felt as if I was engulfed in total darkness without the smallest glimmer of light. I knew I was alive, yet I was no more alive than a dead body. I could no longer do things that I did earlier. All my friends deserted me. I felt completely isolated from the world.”