Nirmala Rape-Murder Case

Two more cops suspended for 'mishandling' crime scene

Published On: October 9, 2018 06:30 AM NPT By: Biken K Dawadi

KATHMANDU, Oct 9: Nepal Police on Monday suspended two more police personnel for their alleged involvement in destroying evidences related to two-and-a-half months old rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta in Kanchanpur.

Two policemen -- sub inspector (SI) Harasingh Dhami and constable Chadani Saud --were suspended a day after the high-level committee formed to look into the police investigation on the rape and murder publicized its report. Constable Saud has been accused of destroying crucial evidences by washing the trousers of the raped girl when her dead body was found in a sugarcane field on July 27.

Nepal Police spokesman Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shailesh Thapa Kshetri informed that the Nepal Police Headquarters suspended both the police officials for their alleged mishandling of the crime scene.

The suspension, according to spokesperson Thapa, was made based on the recommendation of another high-level committee formed by the Nepal Police Headquarters to look into the investigation of the rape and murder. The police probe committee headed by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Dhiru Basnyat has yet to submit its report to the police headquarters.

“Constable Saud has been accused of washing the clothes of Nirmala which resulted in the destruction of evidences,” SSP Thapa Kshetri said. A video widely circulating on the social media shows Saud dunking Nirmala's trousers in the water before placing it on Nirmala's body.

Police spokesman Thapa said SI Dhami was also suspended for the same reason -- mishandling the crime scene. “SI Dhami was the Scene of Crime Officer, the officer responsible for the investigation at the crime scene. He was suspended for negligence shown in the investigation and the destruction of evidences,” SSP Thapa Kshetri told Republica.

Nirmala Panta, 13, of Bhimdatta Municipality-8 in Kanchanpur was found raped and murdered in a sugarcane field near her home on July 27, a day after she went missing.

Investigation into Nirmala's rape has hit a snag after all the evidences such as possible semen stains on her body and clothes were apparently destroyed immediately after her body was found and she was cremated.

Amid public protests across the country demanding justice for Nirmala and actions against the perpetrators, the government suspended the then chief of the District Police Office, Kanchanpur, SP Dilli Raj Bista, among fifteen others so far.

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