BIRATNAGAR, April 24: A protest staged by locals demanding stern action against the perpetrator involved in the alleged murder of a woman in Pathari Sanischare of Morang a few days ago took a violent turn on Tuesday.
A clash erupted between the locals and police when the protesters obstructed the Mahendra Highway on Tuesday. As a team from the Area Police Office (APO), Pathari, tried to stop the protesters from vandalizing the gate of Pathari Sanischare Municipality, the protesters started pelting stones at them. Then the police fired 10 shells of tear gas so as to take the situation under control.
Last Saturday, Rina Basnet of Pathari Sanishchare was found dead outside her rented room. Since then, the locals have intensified their protest demanding that the culprit be booked as soon as possible.
As the locals started burning tires along the highway since early morning on Tuesday, shops and markets remained shut in the Pathari section of the highway. Manoj KC, chief of District Police Office (DPO), Morang, informed Republica that police were compelled to fire tear gas as the protesters started pelting stones and vandalizing the municipal office gate. “Tear gas shells were fired just to take the situation under control,” said KC.
Three police personnel and a few protesters sustained minor injuries in the clash. After a halt of three hours, vehicular movement resumed along the highway from late afternoon. Police have kept Rina’s boyfriend Kamal Nepal of Sundarharaicha under custody to investigate the case.
Family members have claimed that Rina was murdered while police suspect that she died after falling from the first floor of the house she was living in. Morang police so far has found no evidence to support the murder theory. “There is no evidence to claim that this is a murder,” said DPO chief KC.\
The body of the deceased has been sent to BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), Dharan, for a postmortem and police are waiting for the report.