DHANGADHI, March 23: Dinesh Bhatta, the prime accused of raping and killing a 17-year-old Bhagirathi Bhatta of Chadepani of Dogadakedar Rural Municipality-7, has changed his statement after a month of his arrest. The accused was sent to a correction center after he admitted to his crimes.
According to his father, Dipak Bhatta, Dinesh told him that he did not kill Bhagarathi and had confessed to the crime as he was threatened by two people involved in the murder. Demonstrations continued in all nine districts of the far-western region after the murder similar to the case related to Nirmala Pant, a 13-year-old girl from Kanchanpur, was not revealed for two weeks.
Criticized for mishandling Nirmala's case, the police had taken Bhagarathi's incident seriously from the very beginning. Sudur Pashchim Provincial Police Chief DIG Uttam Subedi himself went to Dogadakedar to investigate the cases. Two weeks after the incident, police arrested Dinesh, a 17-year-old boy from Bhagarathi’s village, on February 16 for the murder.
Initially, the victim's relatives did not believe that Dinesh was the culprit until he confessed to the crime. After Dinesh had given a statement to the public prosecutor in the presence of his father that he had committed the murder after raping, Bhagarathi's relatives had cremated the body on 17th day of the murder.
As he was under 18 years of age, the court had sent him to Juvenile Correctional Facility in Dipayal for trial. Bhagarathi's murder has come to the fore again as Dinesh, who is in a juvenile home, changed his statement a month after his arrest. After Dinesh changed his statement, his father, Dipak said that his son was 'innocent'.
Citing the statement of his son, Dipak said that she was killed after being raped by an employee of the Rural Municipality and another person he did not know. He said that he had reached Dipayal to inquire about it after his son phoned and informed him about the incident.
“My son said that he made the statement at that time because the real culprits threatened him with a knife on his throat and told him that they would kill his family if he refused to confess to the crime he did not commit,” Dipak said.
According to Dinesh, the police had detained the employee for a few days and interrogated him. A police source said that the involvement of the employee has not been confirmed. Spokesperson of the Sudur Pashchim Provincial Police Office, Senior Superintendent of Police Mukesh Singh said that the criminals try out different ways to get off their punishment and Dinesh’s attempt was also to escape his punishment.
“At that time, he confessed to the crime to the police, the public prosecutor, his father, the society and the court. It was confirmed not only by the statement but also by the facts, evidence and other grounds,” he said. Bhagarathi did not return home from school on February 3. Her body was found about 50 meters below the road in Lovelek Community Forest on February 4.