High-level commission starts probe from zero

Dhangadi, August 26

A team of the high-level committee formed by the government to investigate the murder of Nirmala Panta at Bhimdatta Municipality, Kanchanpur started probing the incident from zero level from today.

The probe team initiated the investigation from the house of Nirmala’s friend Roshani Bam at Bhimdatta Municipality. Panta, who went to Roshani’s home to do homework on July 10, was found dead the next day.

Probe committee Coordinator Hari Prasad Mainali said they had started the investigation from Roshani’s house. Mainali, however, said they would not ignore the earlier investigation. He stated that the investigation was launched abiding by the terms of reference provided by the government. “The committee will probe the incident with the rights granted to us and bring out the facts,” Mainali said.

Police arrested Roshani and her sister Anita Bam yesterday and have started investigating them.

Kanchanpur SP Kuber Kathayat said that Roshani and Anita were remanded to custody today itself for further investigation. Nirmala’s family and locals had been demanding that Roshani and her sister be arrested and investigation started from their home.

Investigation officer Inspector Ekendra Khadka, who was deployed earlier has been recalled and DSP Krishnaraj Ojha has replaced him. A DSP is deployed for investigation in serious criminal cases.

According to SP Kathayat, an investigation will be launched even to find out the weaknesses and mistakes of the previous probe. The investigation will be thorough and complete.

Meanwhile, the probe committee team reached Bhagatpur’s sugarcane field at Bhimdatta Municipality where Nirmala’s body was found and carried out a study and conducted field inspection.  The team also met with Nirmala’s family members. Mainali said they talked to Nirmala’s parents about the deceased. In the meeting, Nirmala’s father Ekraj Panta urged the probe team to investigate the incident in a fair manner. “I urged the team to probe into the incident to bring the guilty to book,” Ekraj said.

Earlier, the probe team that reached Bhimdatta on Friday had held an all-party and bilateral meetings with government officials, political parties, civil society, stakeholders, and others.

The curfew, lifted for four hours at wards no 8 and 18 at Bhimdatta municipal area today morning was re-clamped from 10:00am. Local administration had clamped indefinite curfew from 8:00pm on Friday night to prevent violence from breaking out. DAO had lifted the curfew from 6:00am to 10:00am today. Kanchanpur assistant CDO Shankar Bista said the curfew was reimposed until further notice. “The DAO will slowly reduce curfew time,” Bista said.

Meanwhile, final rites of fourteen-year-old Shani Khuna killed in police firing on Friday evening were performed today. The body was cremated on Brahmaghat of the Mahakali River. Declared a martyr by the government, Nepal police presented a five-gun salute to Khuna. Many people had participated in Khuna’s death procession. The national flag was draped over Khuna’s body.

Nepal government has declared Shani Khuna a martyr and announced it would give Rs 1 million in compensation to his family. Similarly, Bhimdatta Municipality has announced it will give Rs 3 lakh in cash to Shani’s family.