Prime suspect in rape and murder of Bhagarathi Bhatta arrested

Published On: February 17, 2021 08:39 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 17: Police have arrested a youth allegedly involved in the rape and murder of a teenager Bhagarathi Bhatta in Baitadi district. 

Senior police officials at Nepal Police Headquarters confirmed the arrest of a youth who is learnt to be a neighbor of the Bhatta family. District Police Office, Baitadi is organizing a press conference today to publicize the arrested youth. 

"The main culprit behind the rape and murder of Bhagarathi has already been arrested. Preliminary investigation has revealed that he was solely involved in the incident," said a senior police official familiar with the development. The accused has been kept in the custody of the District Police Office, Baitadi.

The arrested youth has been identified as Dinesh Bhatta, an XI grader of the same school where Bhatta was studying in Grade XII. Police, however, have not officially released any details about the arrested youth. 

Bhatt went missing on February 3. Her dead body was found on the next day in the jungle near her home. The incident has sparked protests across the country, demanding justice for the Bhatta family.

Nepal Police Headquarters had earlier sent a team of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) to investigate the killing. A separate probe team led by Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Janak Raj Pandey at Sudur Paschim Provincial Police Office was formed to investigate the case.

Sudur Pashchim Provincial Police Chief DIG Uttam Raj Subedi himself had reached Baitadi 10 days ago to coordinate the investigation process. 

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