Nine-month-old Sonalika Chaudhary, the daughter of Santosh Chaudhary, a local shopkeeper, was found murdered, after being abducted, in a mango grove with bruises all over her body on Monday.
Protesters obstructed vehicular movement along the Bardibas-Jaleshwor road section saying that the police had failed to arrest the perpetrator even after three days of the heinous crime. The demonstrators took to the streets and burnt tyres demanding the immediate arrest of, and action against, the individual responsible. The demonstrators also shut down local businesses and educational institutions.
Mahottari Police Office SP Ishwor Karki said that the police will soon arrest the perpetrator.
“We are committed to arrest and take action against the persons responsible,” said SP Karki. “But it is difficult for us to nab the culprit when locals resort to enforcing bandas and strikes.”
SP Karki urged locals not to organise protests, and said that they had deployed police in civil dress at the Nepal-India border and neighbouring districts to search and arrest the culprit.
The baby’s parents have accused 25-year-old Bharat Sah of Bhangaha Sitapur-9 of abducting and murdering the infant. A CCTV footage taken from Santosh’s shop shows Bharat cradling baby Sonalika in his arms on Sunday evening. Bharat is at large and the police are questioning his family members about his possible whereabouts.