Case reopens under pressure

- CHITRANGA THAPA, BHAWANI BHATTA, KANCHANPUR

Aug 26, 2018-

Bowing to unrelenting protests in Mahendranagar and elsewhere over the rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta, the Kanchanpur District Police Office has promised to investigate the case over again.

“Investigation into the rape and murder incident will be initiated from level zero. We have started our probe from the house where the victim had gone on the fateful day,” Superintendent of Police Kuber Singh Kadayat told an all-party meeting organised at the District Administration Office on Saturday.

Roshani Bam and her sister Babita Bam, from whose house the victim went out of contact on July 26, were held for interrogation with the district court’s permission.

Protests flared after police on Monday presented a mentally challenged man as the main suspect. Protesters accused police of parading him to protect the real perpetrator/s. A 14-year-old protester died on Friday while scores of others sustained injuries in the last couple of days.

Nirmala, a resident of Bhimdutta Municipality-2, was found lying on a sugarcane field in Bhimdutta-18 on July 27. A forensic report showed the victim was raped and strangulated to death.

Discussions were held with the representatives of political parties, civil society, rights activists and other stakeholders since Saturday morning. During the all-party meeting, SP Kadayat promised fair probe into the case. He appealed to the stakeholders to maintain peace.

Deal to ease tension

The all-party meeting reached a four-point agreement on easing the tension in Mahendrangar and provide relief for the deceased and injured protesters. Chief District Officer Taranath Adhikari said the meeting decided to request the three tiers of government to declare Sunny Khuna, who died on Friday in police firing, a martyr and provide compensation for his family. The meeting also agreed to provide treatment for the injured.

Curfew continues

The District Administration Office continued the curfew clamped in Mahendranagar bazaar area since Friday evening on Saturday as well. For Sunday, the order has been lifted from 5am to 10am. Mahendranagar wore a deserted look while people blocked traffic on the East-West Highway.

Province offers aid

The Province 7 government has decided to provide relief for the bereaved Khuna family and medical expenses for the injured protesters. However, the compensation amount has not been disclosed.

Published: 26-08-2018 07:13

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