Kathmandu, December 23
Rights activists today painted ‘Nirmala 150’ on the pavement in New Baneshwor indicating completion of 150 days of the rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta, seeking justice for the victim.
Pritam Subedi, a rights activist, said it was part of the protest programme to pressure the government to arrest those involved in the rape and murder of Nirmala and to make people aware of the government’s failure to arrest the culprit(s) even after 150 days of the crime.
Subedi said leaflets were also distributed to the public. The leaflets contained printed photograph of Nirmala and the date of her rape and murder on the one side, and the phone number of prime minister, home minister and inspector general of police with a request to the people to contact them seeking justice for Nirmala on the other side.
“We believe that such efforts will help pressure the government to investigate the case and arrest the culprit(s)as soon as possible. Though police are conducting investigation, they have lost the public trust. So we have continued to pressure the government to leave no stone unturned to find those involved in the incident,” said Subedi.
Nirmala was raped and murdered in Bhimdatta Municipality, Kanchanpur, on July 26, but Nepal Police remains clueless about the culprits even after questioning several suspects and conducting DNA test of 11 persons.
Nepal Police’s failure to identify and arrest the culprit(s) has stirred mass outpouring of grief and anger across the nation.
Lack of evidence-based investigation offers little hope of justice to the victim and her grieving family. Most recently, police had arrested Bishal Chaudhary and Dinesh Chaudhary of Bhimdatta Municipality, Kanchanpur. Bishal was freed yesterday after his DNA sample did not match with Nirmala’s .vaginal swab.
A version of this article appears in print on December 24, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.