Putting an end to the 48-day long protest at Maitighar, over a dozen female activists protesting for Nirmala Kurmi today signed a threepoint agreement with the government after the latter agreed to form a special investigation team to probe the abduction and murder of Nirmala Kurmi, a single woman of Banke district, and file a case against the culprits.

This morning, the activists met Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

After the meeting, the PM called Home Secretary Binod Prakash Singh and Inspector General of Police Dhiraj Pratap Singh to form a special investigation team and file a case against the culprits.

After the PM's direction, another round of discussion was held between the activists and the government and an agreement was reached. The government has agreed to fulfil the three-point demand.

As per the agreement, the government, apart from investigating Kurmi's case, will also ensure safety of the protesters as they fear retaliation from people they have been accusing of Kurmi's murder.

The agreement was signed by Home Secretary Jitendra Basnet representing the government and by Ruby Khan representing the protesters. Eleven other people representing human rights activists and members of civil society such as Mohana Aansari, Dr Govinda KC and Om Prakash Aryal, among others, signed the agreement as witnesses.

It is not sure when or how Nirmala died, but she was last seen in 2012 when she was 52 years old.

Nirmala's husband had died in 2005. After that in November 2009 her two sons aged 18 and 14 also died mysteriously in a span of ten days. With no one in the family, it is suspected that some powerful local leaders and men hatched a conspiracy to marry her off to an Indian national and eventually abducted and killed her to grab the 125 kathha (16,000 square metres) land.

The protesters have accused Nepali Congress leader and provincial lawmaker Badshah Kurmi of being the main person behind the abduction and murder of Kurmi with the motive of gaining her property.

Police have so far arrested and interrogated seven persons on the basis of a report submitted by the government's probe committee.

However, they were released shortly as they were not believed to be connected with the case. The main accused Badshah was never arrested.

He is now a Province Assembly member from the area.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 15, 2023, of The Himalayan Times.