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Court extends Bista’s judicial remand

- BHAWANI BHATTA, KANCHANPUR

The Kanchanpur District Court on Sunday extended the judicial remand of Dilip Singh Bista, a mentally ill person that Kanchanpur police claim to have raped and murdered 13-year-old Nirmala Panta, by four days.

The court order specified that Bista’s remand period will be counted from Friday and will expire on Monday. Bista, who was brought to Kanchanpur on Friday following medical examinations in Kathmandu, was expected to be freed on Sunday.

After the high level committee formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs to probe into the case and the National Human Rights Commission suggested that police might have botched the investigation and possibly destroyed evidences from the crime scene, the residents of Kanchanpur were hoping that Bista would be released.

A large section of the Kanchanpur population, including Nirmala’s parents, believe that Bista is innocent, that he was framed by police to protect the real perpetrators.

The District Police Office, Kanchanpur, had presented 41-year-old Bista of Bhimdutta Municipality-19 before the media on August 20 as the main suspect behind the gruesome murder of Nirmala. The court had remanded him to 10 days’ judicial custody that same day.

Bista was taken to Kathmandu on August 28 for medical examinations.

On Sunday, the district police submitted Bista’s medical report to the court.

The details of the report has been withheld from the public.

“The report cannot be made public as the investigation is still in progress,” Hari Krishna Awasthi, the court registrar, said.

He also claimed that Bista’s remand period was extended because police have made some progress in investigation.

Published: 2018-09-10 07:57:51