Dhangadi, October 30
The DNA samples of four persons were collected and sent for testing to Kathmandu in connection with the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta, 13, of Bhimdatta Municipality, Kanchanpur today.
Kanchanpur DSP Krishnaraj Ojha said that samples of four more suspects were sent for testing. He did not reveal the names of the suspects to protect their privacy and to maintain secrecy. “We shall conduct the DNA test of suspected people brought within the ambit of the investigation,” he said.
Earlier, the DNA test of four suspects was carried out, but the report of their DNA test had not matched with the DNA profile of Panta’s vaginal swab.
The civil struggle committee and the victim’s family had taken out a protest rally and submitted a memorandum to the prime minster through the CDO in Kanchanpur yesterday. The committee and the victim’s family, however, did not take out any rally today.
The government had formed half-a-dozen probe committees and teams and deployed them to the municipality. Progress of these probes, however, has been zero till date. As much time has passed, the victim’s family members say the chance of getting justice is fading away.
Police said they had interrogated more than 250 people in connection with Panta’s rape and murder..
One person lost his life and around a dozen were injured in the agitation that was launched to demand arrest of the culprits.
Nirmala, a resident of Bhimdatta Municipality, who had gone to her friend Roshani’s home to do homework on July 26, was raped and subsequently murdered. Her body was found in a sugarcane field the next morning.
As various committees and probe teams formed by the government had not made any progress, women rights activists said police investigation into the incident was flawed.
Then Kanchanpur police chief SP Dilliraj Bista and Inspector Jagdish Bhatta were sacked by the government for negligence in the investigation. Bista and Bhatta had not even abided by the minimum standards of criminal investigation and destroyed evidences at the incident site.
A version of this article appears in print on October 31, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.