KATHMANDU, Sept 27: Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has disclosed that Nirmala Panta’s father was made to put his thumbprint on a backdated First Information Report on the rape and murder of his daughter.
Briefing the State Affairs Committee of parliament on Wednesday about the progress of investigations into the case, Minister Thapa informed that Nirmala’s father Yagya Raj Panta was in India on the date the report was prepared. “Nirmala’s father has been found to have arrived from India only on the day after his thumbprint was put on the FIR. This shows there were lapses on the part of the police,” he said.
Nirmala’s body was found on a field on July 27.
Thapa also said Nirmala’s clothes, which should have been preserved as evidence, were instead destroyed by the police. He went on to claim that incidents of violence against women have increased because of the capitalist-oriented structure of society.
“Capitalist orientation takes women as just a commodity for earning money, and that is the objective cause of the incidents of violence against women. Our legal lapses and the wrongdoings by police are the subjective causes,” said Thapa.
Responding to lawmakers’ queries about when the culprits in Nirmala’s murder would be identified, he said he was no astrologer to forecast a fixed date. Both Thapa and police chief Sarbendra Khanal assured the lawmakers that the culprits would be punished however high-profile or powerful they might be. Asked if SP Dilli Raj Bista would be punished, Khanal said the police will not cover for him if he is found guilty.
Ruling NCP lawmaker Nawaraj Silwal blamed political interference for the failure of the police to carry out effective investigations in major incidents. “The police should be allowed to work autonomously and political interference must be stopped,” he argued.
Lawmakers including Binda Pandey, Bida Pandey, Raj Kishor Yadav and Chakka Bahadur Lama said the police and government leadership cannot escape responsibility in the probe by blaming capitalism.
NCP lawmaker Bijay Subba, however, demanded a ban on beauty contests, stating that such activities promoted sexual violence. “I wonder why the government doesn’t ban beauty contests and youtube,” Subba fumed.
Another NCP lawmaker, Sujita Shakya, claimed that incidents of violence have been deliberately increased to see the government flounder. “I suspect such incidents have been deliberately engineered to foil the prime minister’s commitment to prosperous Nepal and happy Nepali,” she said. She also demanded the chemical castration of rapists.