Kathmandu, September 13

Lawmakers of the opposition Nepali Congress today brought the Parliament to a halt for 10 minutes demanding proper investigation of the rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta of Bhimdatta Municipality, Kanchanpur district.

NC lawmakers, led by the party chairman Sher Bahadur Deuba, criticised Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli for taking time to round up criminals, which, they said, deepened concerns about growing sense of impunity.

“It has been almost two months since the incident took place, but authorities still have no clue about who committed the crime,” NC lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu said. “This indicates that the government is not serious about Nimala’s case and the security situation is worsening in the country.”

Other lawmakers also echoed Badu’s view and blamed the government of trying to ‘protect criminals’.

Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara tried to calm the irate NC lawmakers stating he has ‘asked the government to submit its response’.

But opposition lawmakers continued to obstruct the meeting.

“We won’t calm down until the government responds,” said NC lawmaker and former minister Sita Devi Yadav.

The House meeting resumed after Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal said Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa will address the Parliament on Friday and provide an update on Nirmala’s case.

NC lawmakers again raised the issue during zero hour.

“Police should protect people, but in Nirmala’s case they have tried to erase evidences from the crime scene,” said former deputy-prime minister Sujata Koirala. “Where is this country headed?” she asked.

Other NC lawmakers, Sujata Pariyar, Sanjay Kumar Gautam and Hira Gurung, said police were trying to ‘protect the criminals’.

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