Nepalis flood social media accounts with '#JusticeforNirmalaPanta' to bring Nirmala's overlooked case back into limelight

Published On: August 17, 2020 07:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, August 17: Social media accounts of notable personalities, especially politicians and government officials, are gradually being flooded with the '#JusticeforNirmala' tag for the last few days. People have flooded the social media accounts of personalities like Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, Nepal Communist Party Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, President of Nepali Congress, Sher Bahadur Deuba to Prime minister KP Sharma Oli with the tag.

On Monday morning, the profile picture of the verified Facebook account of Prime Minister Oli, that was updated in September 2016 had over 454,000 comments and more than half of it contained the '#JusticeforNirmalaPantha" tag.

At the same time Facebook recorded over 16,000 real time instances where people used the tag.

"It has been over 759 days but the government has failed to deliver justice to Nirmala. Now it's the right time to force the authorities to take action," wrote Facebook user Jerry Limbu.

The trend started as a 'challenge' after a popular Neapali page name 'Routine of Nepal Banda' shared a video from Tiktok and challenged people to create over 1 million comments with #JusticeForNirmalaPanta tag in the profile picture of PM Oli.  

"#JusticeForNirmalaPanta is a representative voice of unity for all the victims who are deprived of Justice," wrote the page adding, "We request people from every sector, even government officers, politicians to join and speak up regarding this issue. We want #JusticeforNirmalaPanta and justice for everyone who have been silenced by power."

People claim that the main motive of this is to bring Nirmala Panta's case back into attention. On 27 July 2018, 13-year-old Panta, was raped and murdered in a sugarcane field near her home in Kanchanpur. An autopsy report confirmed that she had been raped and murdered. 

Since the incident took place, various justice campaigns and mass protests have been organized throughout the country to put pressure on the government to find the culprit. However, the perpetrator has still not been arrested.

"People started giving attention to the name 'Binod' after it went viral for no accurate reason. Why not apply the same idea to bring Nirmala Panta's rape and murder case back to spotlight so that we can pressurize the authorities to arrest the criminal as soon as possible? If we do not act now, justice will forever be delayed," wrote Icchya Khadka on Facebook.

Currently, #JusticeforNirmalaPantha is also marked with the ‘trending in Nepal’ tag on Twitter.  

"People give so much attention to cases like 'Paramita Rana's Versace incident' and ‘Binod’ but choose to stay silent regarding sensitive things. Raise your voices against things that actually matter. Don't be passive regarding such things. #JusticeForNirmalaPanta," wrote one twitter user @krustyycrab.

Sagoon Bhetwal with twitter handle @sagoonbhetwal wrote, "Until the day  culprits are found and arrested and justice is actually delivered to every single Nirmala and Angira in this county, the fight shall continue. #JusticeForNirmalaPanta #JusticeForAngiraPasi @PM_Nepal @kpsharmaoli."


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