Bam sisters being interrogated

Dhangadi, August 27

Police in Kanchanpur started interrogating Roshni Bam and her sister Babita after they were produced at the court today in connection with the rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta of Bhimdatta Municipality.

According to Superintendent of Police Kuber Kathayat of the District Police Office, statements of the sisters are being recorded. “The court has remanded them to custody for six days. We’ll seek extension of the remand if need be,” he said, adding that the two were arrested from Ward No 18 of Bhimdattanagar on Saturday.

The high-level probe committee formed by the government to investigate the case, meanwhile, met Nirmala’s family and visited the incident site, probe committee coordinator Hari Prasad Mainali told THT.

Meanwhile, attempts have intensified to normalise the situation in the district now. According to Assistant Chief District Officer Shankar Bista, discussion is on with all sides concerned under the coordination of the district administration office. “We’ve been meeting all sides concerned, including the local political parties and the agitation struggle committees and asked them to help improving the situation and the investigation under way,” he said.

Earlier, after the situation got tense, the main opposition Nepali Congress had sent its central member Bir Bahadur Balayar and parliamentary member Dilendra Prasad Badu to Bhimdatta. “We’ve learnt about the incident and the aftermath and asked our cadres to help normalise the situation and help in the investigation,” he said. “In fact, the situation wouldn’t have become so bad had the government not opened fire at demonstrators who were asking the government to punish the guilty,” he observed.

Former minister and NCP (NCP) leader Lekhraj Bhatta and Province 7 legislator also reached Bhimdatta yesterday and met the victim families, the police and the administration.

Human rights activist Goma Acharya asked all and sundry for support to the government-formed high level probe committee. “The probe panel has said it will start investigation all over again and also the investigation conducted so far. So let’s be positive,” she said.

Assistant CDO Bista also claimed the situation was slowly improving. “All sides agree that creating a situation calling for imposition of curfew is not good,” he said, adding, “It was in view of the improving situation that curfew has been reduced from 6:00pm to 5:00am tomorrow.