Campaign to seek justice for Nirmala Panta gains momentum

Kathmandu, December 3

Justice for Nirmala campaign, which was initiated from the people’s level, in a bid to pressure the government to bring the culprit(s) involved in Nirmala’s rape and murder to justice, has started gaining new momentum in the last couple of days, despite the state  trying to crack down on peaceful protests.

People across the country have relentlessly protested in the street, staged various symbolic protest programmes in front of Singha Durbar, the prime minister’s official residence in Baluwatar and various governments bodies demanding justice for 13-year old Nirmala who was raped and murdered on July 26.

After four months, the activism has started gaining new momentum on social media as well as on the street after the government’s ostentatious launch of the ‘Social Security Scheme’ a few days ago, particularly Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s statement that the government was very much present in the country.

The statement had generated widespread criticism on social media, followed by some anonymous group that brought out a new poster of Nirmala stating, “We found the government but we did not get justice.”

Police arrested dozens of people for pasting posters on the street utility poles the next day on November 30. More and more Facebook groups, with thousands of members and new Twitterati have started sharing the justice for Nirmala campaign through social media.

People have also started changing their profile picture with Nirmala’s picture. Similarly, supporters of philanthropist medical doctor Dr Govinda KC have also joined the campaign.

The Justice for Nirmala’s campaigners said they had pasted around 1,000 posters of Nirmala on long route vehicles at Balaju Bus Park. Campaigners initiated the programme after images of police working vehemently to remove the Nirmala posters from walls and utility poles around the country were seen on social media.

The UN Special Rapporteur on November 29 had sought the attention of the government regarding issues of Violence Against Women in the country with special reference to Nirmala.

Nirmala’s family and supporters are continuing the indefinite sit-in protest in front of Kanchanpur District Administration Office.