Nirmala Rape and Murder Case: Leaders’ visit to sit-in pours in, police still looking into case

Published On: November 23, 2018 01:18 PM NPT

KANCHANPUR, nov 23: It's been nearly four months since 13-year-old Nirmala Panta of Bhimdutta Municipality-2 in Kanchanpur district was raped and murdered, but police has not been able to identify the culprits and bring them to justice yet forcing her parents to stage sit-in. 

Their sit-in has been significantly creating wave of sympathy among the locals as well as in the central capital as more and more leaders and parliamentarians are visiting the protesting parents to express their solidarity with their cause. 

The parents of Nirmala, father Yagya Raj Panta and mother Durga Devi Panta, have been staging indefinite sit-in in front of the local District Administration Office, Kanchanpur since November 11 to pile pressure on the authority to arrest the culprit. 

Nirmala was raped and murdered on July 26 and her body was found in a sugarcane field the next day. 
Earlier, the bereaved parents of Nirmala had met Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs and leaders from the opposition party in pursuit of justice. 

Since they staged sit-in, locals alike, leaders and parliamentarians have been visiting them to assuage them and assure them of justice. More than 1,000 persons have expressed their solidarity with their crusade for justice as of Thursday evening. Majority of the leaders and parliamentarians visiting Nirmala's parents are from the major opposition party-Nepali Congress (NC). 

NC's central committee member and member of the House of Representatives Dilendra Badu had reached the protest site on the third day of the sit-in and demanded with the government to make public the culprit. 
The leaders visiting the protesting parents have been blaming the incumbent government of its cavalier attitude towards the rape and murder case. 

On the corollary, Internal Affairs and Minister for Law of Sudur Paschim Province, Prakash Shah, recently visited Nirmala's parents and said that the federal and provincial government was very serious towards an investigation was underway from new direction. He urged the protesting parents to take care of their health. 

Similarly, parliamentary and NC youth leader Gagan Thapa said that he would carry the message of growing grievances among public regarding the action against Nirmala's murderer to his party president Sher Bahadur Deuba and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.  He expressed his solidarity with Nirmala's parents and pledged to be with them till justice is served to them. 

Likewise, the case has garnered attention and solidarity of other political parties such as CPN Revolutionary Maoist and Naya Shakti. The former party has urged the government to be serious towards the issues surrounding women and children while Naya Shakti party has pledged to provide moral support to the protesting parents. 

The health condition of Nirmala's parents is deteriorating lately while the local Administration has appealed the protesting parents to be careful about their health. Nirmala's mother Durga Devi expressed her doubt over delivery of justice and lamented with visiting leader Thapa,"The concerned authority overlooking of our case has stoke doubt over whether justice will be delivered or not to us or not." NC central member committee and parliamentarian Dr Dila Sangruala on Thursday reached out to the protesting parents leading a deligation. Organizing a press conference, she commented that the Nirmala rape and murder was becoming more mysterious. 

We are looking into the case: Police 
Police on August 20 had arrested and made public 41-year old Dilip Singh Bista of Bhimdutta Municipality-19 in the district as the accused of raping and killing Nirmala. The arrest had drawn severe protest from the locals saying that police were framing the mentally unstable Bista to protect the real culprit. He was later released after his DNA failed to match the DNA samples found on Nirmala. 

Police say they have investigating the case from different angle. From a high-level investigation team of Ministry of Home Affairs to the Nepal Police's Central Investigation Bureau (CBI), the case was examined from various angles. The DNA tests have been carried out over a dozen of prospective culprits and accused ones but all DNA had failed to match their DNA samples. District Police Office, Kanchanpur Superintendent of Police (SP) Kuber Kadayat shared that police has been intensifying probe into the case.  "We have been looking into the case through various method and angle," said SP Kadayat. RSS

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