KANCHANPUR, Sept 11: A high-level probe committee formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) on August 23 to investigate into the rape and murder of a teenager, Nirmala Panta, in Kanchanpur has concluded that police had unnecessarily opened fire at the protestors in Bhimdutta Municipality on August 23 and 24.
Coordinator of the probe committee Hari Prasad Mainali said it was not necessary to open fire at the protestors since the crowd could have been easily dispersed to restore normalcy by using teargas shells and charging them with batons.
“After investigation, we have come to the conclusion that police should not have opened fire at the protestors,” Mainali said, adding, “The crowd of protestors could have been dispersed by firing teargas shells, charging them with batons or opening fire in the air. Police could have made the use of any of these measures.”
Clashes erupted between police and the protestors after police arrested Dilip Singh Bista, 41, a mentally unstable person from Bhimdutta Municipality-19 on the charge of rape and subsequent murder of Panta. However, protestors claimed that Bista was made a scapegoat so that the police could clear their own name following accusations of their involvement in the incident.
Nirmala's family points fingers at police
Durga Devi Panta, mother of the raped girl Nirmala, has demanded grilling of the members of Nepal Police involved in the investigation suspecting their involvement in the case.
Durga made such appeal to IGP Sarbendra Khanal, who had arrived at her home in Kanchanpur a few days ago. Frustrated with so many promises from various stakeholders, Durga asked the police chief to ensure justice. “So far, we have received mere promises. So, please identify the culprit and ensure us justice,” Durga had told IGP Khanal.
In response IGP Khanal had promised to book the culprits involved in her murder regardless their position.