Rights body directs police forensic to save victim’s sample

  • Nirmala murder
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 12, 2018-

The National Human Rights Commission, which is consulting with experts to look into the July rape and murder of Nirmala Pant in Kanchanpur, on Thursday directed the Central Police Forensic Lab to preserve the vaginal swab taken from the victim.

The directive was issued after discussing the matter with Dr Harihar Wasti of the Tribhuvan University Forensic Medicine Department and Dr Dinesh Jha, DNA expert at the National Forensic Science Laboratory, among others. The rights watchdog is interested to see if there were lapses in the DNA testing by police.

A detailed study of the DNA and autopsy reports of the teenager was part of the consultation.

The rights commission said in a statement that the police lab had been asked to ensure that the samples taken from Pant, which could provide strong evidence for tracing the culprit, are preserved well. A separate order was issued to the Mahakali Zonal Hospital to report the process adopted while collecting the vaginal swap and sending it to the police lab for examination.

The commission has started its own investigation after the local and central administrations failed to find the culprits 76 days after the incident. The police’s attempt to find the culprit through DNA matching hasn’t brought the desired outcome since the DNA of the vaginal swab did not match the profile of any of the suspects.

As part of its investigation, the NHRC on Wednesday consulted with senior retired Nepal Police officials and discussed the process followed while investigating the case.

Amid the delay in probe, the NHRC on Sunday directed the government to retest the DNA of those suspected in the case. In its eight-point directive, it also asked the government to retest the victim’s vaginal swab and the semen found in her body. The commission also ordered evaluation of the equipment, chemicals and the laboratory resources used during the earlier tests.

The rights body, suspecting lapses in the investigation process, has asked the government to probe the roles of Roshani Bam and Babita Bam, from whose house Nirmala had gone missing, and suspended Superintendent of Police Dilli Bista who handled initial probe into the incident.

Published: 12-10-2018 07:27

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