Nirmala’s parents knock on PM’s door for justice

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Sep 18, 2018-

Nirmala Pant’s parents, accompanied by Province 7 lawmakers and rights activists, met Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at his residence on Monday, to seek justice for their daughter.

In the meeting that lasted an hour, Nirmala’s mother Durga Devi handed over a memorandum to Oli at Baluwatar. She explained why she was compelled to knock on his door, following the failure of government agencies to find the culprits responsible for her daughter’s rape and murder in July.

“I came to meet you to seek justice for my daughter,” she repeatedly told Oli.

Responding to the concern, Oli admitted that investigation into the incident had been delayed as the government relied on the local police unit for preliminary probe.

“Officers may have blundered but we cannot accuse them before the investigation completes,” the prime minister said. “The state will do the needful whether or not there are protests. We cannot even imagine saving the culprits.”

Oli also promised that the culprits would not be spared at any cost. He told the bereaved parents that he had directed the Home Ministry to conduct a serious investigation and take stern action against those found guilty.

“I’m Nirmala’s guardian too, and I’m shocked as much as you are,” Oli’s press coordinator Chetan Adhikari quoted Oli as saying. “Many probe teams had been deployed earlier. Lately, a high-level team led by a DIG has been investigating the case while six police officers who tampered with evidence have been suspended.” Leaders from the ruling Nepal Communist Party and the opposition Nepali Congress also attended the meeting.

Nirmala’s parents came to Kathmandu on September 12 to meet officials including Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa. After the meeting, Nirmala’s parents left for their village as they failed to meet President Bidya Devi Bhandari.

They said they were hopeful that the prime minister will do everything in his power to deliver justice. “I was convinced by the prime minister’s kind statement that Nirmala was also his daughter,” she said. However, she expressed sadness at the behaviour of leader Karna Thapa who misbehaved with rights activists. An influential NCP leader from Province 7, Thapa frowned at the rights activists as the meeting came to its end, claiming that he knew where they were coming from and their intentions.

One activist said Thapa was angry that they had briefed Oli on the Kanchanpur incident. Senior political leaders like Bhim Rawal and Niru Pal, who were also present on the occasion, didn’t stop Thapa.

“I alone cannot fight for justice,” said Durga Devi. “It was the activists who spoke on our behalf. I felt terrible when the leader shouted at them.”

Published: 18-09-2018 07:08

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