Action against SP Bista soon: Ministry

  • Activists say Mainali report fails to name the culprits
- ANIL GIRI, ARPAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Oct 9, 2018-

The decision to take departmental action against SP Dilli Raj Bista will be taken within a couple of days, according to top government sources who said the officer was visibly negligent in handling the investigation of the Nirmala Panta rape and murder case.

 A day after making public the formal investigation report on the case, the Home Ministry said that appropriate action would be taken against those found guilty in the incident.

Officials who are familiar with the investigation said the decision to take departmental action against SP Dilli Raj Bista will be taken within a couple of days. “His negligence is clearly seen the crime spot and after the crime. So all necessary action will be taken,” said one official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Hari Prasad Mainali-led committee report stated that Kanchanpur Police made several lapses while investigating the rape and murder of 13-year-old Pant in Kanchanpur, which was made public on Sunday after intense pressure and widespread criticism that the government had not done enough to punish the culprits.

The Nepal Police headquarters will soon consult and get approval from the Home Ministry regarding taking action against SP Bista and other police officers and personnel as required.

“We are also studying the report,” said Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai. “We will take whatever steps necessary to resolve the case.”

The 37-page report has concluded serious lapses in police probe right from the beginning when Nirmala was first reported to be missing. Kanchanpur Police remained indifferent to her mother’s complaint that the teenager had gone missing that evening, and had not searched for her even after her bicycle was spotted, the report said.

It also pointed out “grave negligence and carelessness” of the police officers at the crime scene and during the investigation and recommended department action against them. “We have already suspended SP Bista as suggested by the probe panel,” said Rai. “We will initiate departmental proceedings and then take other actions if required to get to the bottom of the incident.”

Rai said that further investigation is under way on the role of police as well as finding the culprits.

 Meanwhile slamming the probe committee report, activists have vowed to continue protests for justice. “The report was shocking as expected and failed to tell us who the culprits were. It rather protects the culprits,” said Sharada Chand, activist and Collective Campaign for Peace (CoCAP) representative who has been campaigning with Nirmala’s parents.

 “There are careless errors in the report. Major dates of the unfortunate events are wrong. The report also fails to reveal officials who ordered police to shoot at the protesters or clarify who threatened Birendra KC [probe committee member],” she added, “who raped and murdered Nirmala is all we want to know and we will continue our protests and observe a Black Dashain.”

“These are things we already know,” said Hima Bista, who has been an active campaigner on social media and on the streets. “There was a protest on Saturday. There’s another protest today but street protests are not possible all the time so we will now meet women parliamentarians who have kept mum on the incident. We will also meet NHRC chair, IGP and other senior authorities to exert more pressure.”

Two more police personnel suspended

KATHMANDU: Two more police personnel were suspended in connection with the rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta on Monday, a day after the Home Ministry made public the report of a high-level probe committee.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Har Singh Dhami and Constable Chandani Saud have been suspended for their alleged involvement in destroying vital pieces of evidence. Saud, who was captured on video purportedly washing the clothes of Nirmala, admitted washing the clothes “unintentionally” during interrogation.

Nepal Police spokesperson SSP Sailesh Thapa said both of them had been suspended for negligence during the investigation. Earlier, the government had suspended SP of Kanchanpur Dilli Raj Bista, DSPs Angur GC and Gyan Baharu Seti, Inspectors Jagadish Bhatta and Ekendra Khadka and Sub-Inspector Ram Singh Dhami. (PR)

Published: 09-10-2018 07:23

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