Protesters form human chain seeking justice for Nirmala

DHANGADHI: Kanchanpur locals formed a human chain today in Dhangadhi seeking justice for Nirmala Panta, who was brutally raped and murdered on July 26 in Bhimdutta Municipality-2.

In line with Citizens Struggle Committee's predetermined programme, protesters encircled Mahendranagar in a human chain demanding justice for 13-year-old Panta. They also demonstrated in front of the Office of Far-western Province Chief Minister and Council of Ministers, in Dhangadhi.

According to Sharada Chand Thakuri, women rights activist and member of the citizens struggle committee in Kanchanpur, thousands of people including students and locals participated in the protest.

"We were compelled to stage a mass protest today as the deaf government failed to hear our civilised protest."

"This movement is for the sake of providing justice to Nirmala Panta. We will make our protest more disciplined in the days ahead," Thakuri shared.

Far-western Province's chief opposition Nepali Congress leader Ran Bahadur Rawal, various student organisations and civil society expressed solidarity to the protest. They all participated in the demonstration today.

Rawal said, "This government is not ready to deliver justice to Nirmala Panta. We all express solidarity to the protest demanding justice to the victim."

The protesters fixed banners captioned "Government has been found but justice is still missing" in Dhangadhi downtown and in front of the province chief minister's office.

Meanwhile, Kanchanpur police said Pradeep Rawal, a drug abuser, has been arrested from Kathmandu in connection with the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta. It has been learnt that Rawal had served jail time previously on charges of hooliganism.

According to Kanchanpur District Police Office Investigating Officer and DSP Krishna Raj Ojha, police arrested Pradeep after monitoring his activities. Earlier, Pradeep had been freed after interrogation in suspicion of his involvement in the case, Ojha shared.

"Not only Pradeep, but we had detained more than four hundred suspects and freed them after interrogation. We keep our eyes on suspects after their interrogation; Pradeep was also on police's watch list," Ojha said.

"We interrogated nine suspects and freed them yesterday alone," Ojha added.