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Nirmala Pant rape and murder: Parents halt dharna after 105 days due to ailing health

- BHAWANI BHATTA, KANCHANPUR

Feb 22, 2019-

Parents of Nirmala Pant, who had been staging indefinite Dharna (sit-in protest) for the past 105 days seeking justice to their deceased daughter, have halted their protest from Friday owing to their deteriorating health.

Thirteen-year-old Nirmala was raped, strangled and murdered. Her body was found in a sugarcane field in Bhimdutta Municipality of Kanchanpur on July 27, a day after she was reported missing.

Also read: Family mourns, and a country recoils at teen girl’s rape and murder

Nirmala’s father Yagyaraj and mother Durga Devi began their dharna on November 11 on the premises of District Administration Office, Kanchanpur, demanding the authority identify and book the culprits behind the crime. Before resorting to the indefinite dharna, Pant couple vigorously fought for justice through protests, street demonstrations, reaching out to top government officials including prime minister, and knocked on the doors of media houses.

“We have stopped our dharna but have not given up on our fight for justice,” said Nirmala’s father Yagyaraj. “We staged sit-in for 105 days. Many justice seekers supported us, but the government showed reluctance in bringing culprits before public.”

“The protest that started seeking justice will not stop until the justice prevails,” he said.

Yagyaraj had lost his mental balance when he was staging the dharna. He was brought to Kathmandu on November 24 for treatment. After receiving treatment at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Yagyaraj returned to Mahendranagar after less than a month and continued with the dharna.

“It’s already been seven month since my daughter was killed. We have undergone numerous protests yet the culprit(s) remains to be made public,” says Nirmala’s mother Durga Devi.

Nirmala’s step mother Laxmi has also fallen sick due to continuous sit-in. She complains of headache, chest and abdomen pain. “We developed health problems due to cold. We have decided to halt our protest for treatment,” said Laxmi.

Before ending their dharna, Yagyaraj submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister through District Administration Office, Kanchanpur. Receiving the letter, Assistant Chief District Officer Shankar Bista consoled Yagyaraj by saying that he would inform Home Ministry to make arrangement for providing necessary expenses for treatment.

“We have lost all hopes that the culprit will ever be disclosed. But we will continue to put pressure on the authority,” said Durga.

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Published: 22-02-2019 16:57

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