Nirmala’s father barred from flying to Capital

  • Yagya Raj, who has been protesting for weeks demanding justice for the rape and murder of his teenage daughter, shows signs of mental illness
- BHAWANI BHATTA, KANCHANPUR

Nov 25, 2018-

Kathmandu-bound Yagya Raj Pant, who has demonstrated signs of a mental illness after staging days of indefinite sit-in demanding justice for his daughter Nirmala, has been stranded at Geta Airport in Dhangadhi along with his wife Durga Devi and two other relatives after an airline company refused to fly him citing his mental condition.

Earlier on Saturday, the Kanchanpur District Administration Office had tried to send Yagya Raj to the Capital through the regular Dhangadhi-Kathmandu flight of Buddha Air.

“Airline authorities did not allow him to fly to Kathmandu saying that he was mentally ill,” Yagya Raj’s brother-in-law Gajadhar Bhatta told the Post over telephone. He said they wanted to take him to India at their own expense if the authorities allowed it.

Assistant Chief District Officer Shankar Bista said Yagya Raj was taken to Kathmandu through Dhangadhi as suggested by doctors at the Mahakali Zonal Hospital. “We decided to send them to the Capital for treatment as we were told that stress had taken a toll on him. He needs to take rest and be relieved of tension,” he added.

Yagya Raj and three others were at the airport when the Post went to press. “We were informed that the airline employees stopped him from boarding the flight as his mental health further worsened at the airport. Preparations are on to take him to Kathmandu on an ambulance,” said Bista.

The Pant family has been staging the sit-in since November 11 in front of the District Administration Office demanding that the rapist(s) and murderer(s) of 13-year-old Nirmala be brought to book immediately.

The delay in arresting the culprits four months after the heinous crime had stressed Yagya Raj, who saw gradual deterioration of his mental condition. He had fever and low blood pressure during the sit-in. He started talking unnecessarily, scolding people and even manhandling those who came to see him during the protest.

“He [Yagya Raj] suffers from mental stress. He needs rest and should be kept away from the crowd. It should be managed at the earliest,” Dr Sudip Kharel said after examining him on Friday. He argued that the sit-in further disturbed Yagya Raj, who was in pain of losing his daughter.

The teenager was found dead on a sugarcane field in Bhimdutta Municipality-18 on July 27, a day after she was reported missing. Various probe committees were formed but the authorities are still clueless about the perpetrators.

According to relatives, Yagya Raj’s health had worsened since Friday. He reportedly

started running around and shoving whoever came in his way. Locals said the sit-in would continue.

Published: 25-11-2018 07:05

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