Kathmandu, July 26
The National Human Rights Commission today wrote a follow-up letter to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, urging it to provide information about the implementation status of the recommendations made to the government regarding the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta.
The correspondence to the government coincides with the first death anniversary of Nirmala, who was raped and murdered in Kanchanpur on July 26 last year. The government is still in the dark on who raped and killed Nirmal. The rights body had made a four-point recommendation and 24-point directive to the OPMCM through the January 27 letter on the basis of investigation and monitoring conducted on the heinous crime, requesting the government to implement recommendations and provide information thereof to the NHRC within three months.
More than seven months have passed since the recommendations, but the government has yet to respond to the NHRC about their implementation status.
“The NHRC still awaits the response and information from the government about the implementation status of the four-point recommendation. The OPMCM has been requested to provide the progress report on investigation conducted by the concerned agency in relation to Nirmala’s rape and murder,” stated a press release issued by the rights body.
The investigation and monitoring report of the NHRC had stated that Nepal Police was not completely flawless in the way it collected vaginal swab of Nirmala for DNA test. It was found that police collected the DNA sample from cotton wrapped around an end of a twig and put it in a test tube.
This negligence resulted in collection of inadequate amount of DNA sample and possibility of its gradual loss and difficulty in deriving factual results.
The report also finds a series of flaws in the criminal investigation conducted by police from the outset. The rights body had recommended that the government keep on conducting more effective and result-oriented criminal investigation through maximum mobilisation of human intelligence as the condition of vaginal swab was unlikely to assist police in tracking down the perpetrator(s) of the rape and murder. It had also recommended action against those involved in botching up the investigation and lab technicians who conducted erroneous DNA testing and establishment of a separate criminal investigation department.
It had recommended that the government should ensure adequate equipment and skilled human resources for criminal investigation and instal CCTV cameras in areas vulnerable to crimes.
A version of this article appears in print on July 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.