Police officers tear Nirmala posters, arrest 12 activists

KATHMANDU: Police intervened in a peaceful protest being staged seeking justice to Nirmala Panta and arrested 12 rights activists for adhering posters on utility poles in Maitighar today.

The demonstrators had fixed posters which contained slogans demanding justice for Nirmala, a 13-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in Kanchanpur district on July 26, alongside her iconic portrait.

As the peaceful protest was under way, armed cops arrived, pulled down the posters and arrested activists including eight women, at around 3:00 PM.

They were forced into a into a police van and taken to Metropolitan Police Circle, Singha Durbar before being released in the evening, said Pritam Subedi, a campaigner for justice to Nirmala.

"If the government can place the photographs of Prime Minister everywhere in Kathmandu to publicise its social security schemes, why are we not allowed to display a portrait of Nirmala in a democracy which has given constitutional rights to peaceful protest for justice to the victim and her family? It is not fair," Subedi said.

According to him, women cops also roughed up two of their counterpart activists.

The posters had initially 'mysteriously appeared' overnight, on the night following the installation of sponsored posters carrying Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's image, right next to those boards.

Although activists and public used the posters later, it is yet to be known who came up with the original posters.