Police to intensify probe into Kanchanpur rape case, says district's new police chief

BHIMDATTANAGAR: The police would move ahead in connection to the rape and subsequent murder case of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta in consultation and coordination with the agitating side, said Superintendent of Police (SP) Kuber Kadayat, the new police chief at Kanchanpur District Police Office.

The 13-year-old girl from Kholti, Bhimdatta Municipality-2 was found murdered in a sugarcane field near her friend's house at Nimbukheda, Bhimdattanagar Municipality-18, on the morning of July 27, a day after she went missing. She had gone to her friend's house to do her school homework on July 26.

SP Kadayat, who arrived here on Thursday night to assume his office, said the police would move ahead by taking into account the opinions and suggestions from all sides regarding the murder case. He added that the government has also accorded high priority to this incident. "A situation might come in which this incident has to be investigated from a new angle," said the SP. He also urged the agitating side and the locals to cooperate with the police in the investigation.

The curfew that was clamped in Kanchanpur on Thursday after the demonstrations by the victim's relatives and supporters took a violent turn was lifted at 5:00 am today. Police had to fire tear gas shells to bring the situation under control.

The locals had been protesting from last week, calling to bring the culprit to book. They alleged that the police had not been prompt enough in investigating the case and was not taking it seriously. The protesters had also demanded transfer of the Chief District Officer and the chief of the district police.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has assigned new Chief District Officer and District Police Chief. It has also formed a high-level investigation committee to look into the case.

The situation in Bhimdattanagar which was tense until Thursday has now become normal since the morning. The market has opened and transportation has resumed.

The new police chief of the district said that improved law and order in the district would contribute to the investigations into the case.