Victim’s parents warn of hunger strike

Dhangadi, November 4

Parents of Nirmala Panta today warned of a fast-unto-death if the culprit(s) who raped and murdered their 13-year-old daughter were not booked. The crime against Nirmala was committed in Bhimdatta Municipality.

Organising a press meet at their home today, Panta’s father Ekraj Panta warned he would stage hunger strike. He informed that they were forced to take this step

as the government had failed to book the guilty though more than 100 days had passed since the crime was committed.

“If the guilty are not arrested by November 11, all family members will stage a sit-in in front of the District Administration Office, Kanchanpur,”  Panta said, adding, “If the government does not book the guilty, then we shall stage a hunger strike in the second phase.”

Milestone of disappointment: 100 Days of Nirmala Panta rape-murder mystery

Ekraj said he was ready to sacrifice his life to provide justice to his daughter. He said that their fight for justice would continue.

Nirmala, a resident of Bhimdatta Municipality, who had gone to her friend Roshani’s home to do homework on July 26, was raped and subsequently murdered. Her body was found in a sugarcane field the next morning.

Earlier, the DNA test of then Kanchanpur police Chief SP Dilliraj Bista, his son Kiran Bista, and Bhimdatta Municipality mayor’s nephew Aayush Bista was carried out, but their DNA did not match with the DNA profile of Panta’s vaginal swab. The government has sacked SP Bista and Inspector Jagdish Bhatta for their negligence in probing the incident.

The DNA report of Dilip Singh Bista, framed in the crime and made public by then SP Bista, had not matched with the DNA profile of Panta’s vaginal swab either.

Rights activists said police failed to book the guilty as the probe was flawed. The government formed half-a-dozen probe committees and teams and deployed them to the municipality. Progress of these probes, however, has been zero till date. According to police, the DNA samples of four more persons have been sent to Kathmandu for tests. Local rights activists say police have spread the rumour of having sent the DNA samples for tests to calm down the public.