National

Kanchanpur rape, murder case: Protest continues for second consecutive day

- Post Report, KANCHANPUR

Aug 22, 2018-

Locals continued demonstration in Mahendranagar for the second consecutive day on Monday in protest against the police move to make public the wrong suspect in the rape-murder case of a 13-year-old girl. People from nearby villages joined the protest today.

Market place, education institutions have remained shut and transport services have come to a complete halt following the agitation.

Sporadic clashes broke out between police and protesters in various places since early Tuesday morning with both sides pelting stones at each other.

Earlier on Tuesday, police and local Mahendranagar residents clashed leaving at least 20 people injured. The clash ensued after the police intervened in a rally organised by the locals claiming the man presented by police as the main suspect behind the rape and murder of 13-year-old NirmalaPanta last month was innocent and that the real perpetrator was still at large.

The District Police Office presented 41-year-old Dilip Kumar Bista before the press on Monday, saying he was the main suspect and had confessed to the crime. However, the Mahendranagar residents say the person is innocent, and was framed by taking advantage of his mental illness.

Allegations against the police followed admission by the father of the victim, Yagya Raj Panta, that law enforcement officials made him file a case against Bista under duress.

“They forced me to sign a document that charged this man with raping and murdering my daughter,” he said.

Nirmala Panta’s family had also refused to receive her body demanding that the authorities bring the perpetrator to justice. As demonstrations peaked and began grabbing national attention, police and local administration allegedly threatened the father with criminal charges for the protests taking place in town.

Panta told the Post last month that he was forced to cremate his daughter because police threatened him with criminal charges if the protests got violent.

Nirmala’s body was cremated four days after it was discovered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she was reported missing.

A small funeral service was held on the Mahakali riverbanks, heavily guarded by police personnel.

Published: 22-08-2018 15:08

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