A member of the government panel formed to probe the rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta has resigned, citing security threat to himself and his family.
Birendra KC, who was in the five-member team formed by the Home Ministry to investigate the teenager’s death in Kanchanpur district, announced on Monday that he was no longer part of the enquiry, for he felt threatened from those actively trying to undermine the probe. KC told the press in Kathmandu that he and his family members could be murdered anytime if he continued to be a part of the team. He also appealed to National Human Rights Commission and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure safety for himself and his family.
KC, who is also the under secretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law in Province 7, has suggested that a powerful group could be involved in the case and that Nirmala’s family may not get justice.
Nirmala was found raped and murdered in a sugarcane field in Bhimdutta Munciapality-18, Kanchanpur, on July 27, a day after she was reported missing.
Kanchanpur police and the District Administration Office have been accused of obfuscating the investigation process from day one. Nirmala’s parents were coerced by the authorities to cremate their daughter and stop the protest sweeping across Kanchanpur and beyond.
On August 23, the Ministry of Home Affairs constituted the probe panel to hold an inquest into Nirmala’s death, as well as scrutinise police investigation.
The panel told the press in Kanchanpur on Saturday that police had botched the investigation.
An independent inquiry launched by the National Human Rights Commission has also concluded that Kanchanpur police mishandled the investigation and possibly destroyed evidence from the crime scene.