Lifestyle & Belief

Nepal court convicts 19 in Himalayan Viagra case

himalayanviagra.jpg

This file photo taken on May 29, 2007 shows three 'Yarchagumba', which in Tibetan means 'summer plant, winter insect' and used as a health supplement, are displayed in the palm of a hand in Kathmandu.

Credit:

Devendra M Singh

A Nepalese court has found six men guilty of murdering seven rivals in a fight over "Himalayan Viagra," a rare caterpillar fungus that is highly prized as a aphrodisiac, BBC News reported.

The court has convicted 19 villagers over the murder.

According to AFP:

Seven farmers were killed in the remote northern district of Manang in June 2009 after going to forage for Yarsagumba, a rare parasitic plant that is a major source of income for many Himalayan communities.

The 19 men accused claimed that the farmers died accidentally after a fight broke out about who had the right to harvest it.

The plant is in particular demand in China, where a kilogram can be sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

Foraging for this fungus is a major source of income for poor Himalayan communities, BBC News reported.

According to News24, the court, which is a two day walk from the nearest road, was forced to delay the verdict more than a dozen times due to absent judges and lawyers.

Six men have been found guilty of murder, and a group of 13 others have been sentenced to two years in jail, Shamu Baral, a court registrar told AFP.