Thousands of local people and right activists took to the streets again in Kanchanpur districts seeking justice for Nirmala Panta, who was brutally murdered after rape in Bhimdutta Municipality of Kanchanpur distract on July 26. Though it has already been three months since the 13 year old school going girl was raped and murdered, police are yet to find the culprit(s) thanks to the suspicion looms around the police too. The government has sacked two police officials- Superintendent of Police (SP) Dilliraj Bista, who was the chief of Kanchanpur District Police Office and Inspector Jagdish Bhatta, who had headed a police unit under which purview the crime scene. Hundreds of thousand local people including the kith and kin of the deceased have come out again at the street even threatening to intensify the protest. The protesters have a claim that that the so-called action taken against the two police officers was nothing than a poly to eyewash. Though the investigation is not stopped yet, such allegation and suspicion casted by the people could not be termed as aberrant because the action taken by the government is too little and too late and seems dramatic in some extent. As the Nepal Police failed to show performance to carry out investigation responsibly, the government has also been dragged into controversies for not taking the issue seriously.
The decision to sack out the two police officers is justified for giving not convincing clarifications and failing to carry out their duties properly. Though the decision to sack the police officials is a small positive step in the ongoing investigation into Nirmala rape and murder case but not sufficient. The striking question raised now is that how many months would be taken to nab the culprit(s) of the heinous crime. As the people have begun to come out at the street again demanding justice, the government has to take responsibility if the same fate of 17-year-old boy, who was brutally killed in police firing leaving two dozen others sustaining injuries while demanding justice earlier, was repeated again. As the actions taken by the government to find the guilty are not convincing at all, the government authorities should stop to bother the people by delivering hollow narratives like Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa used to deliver even promising to nab the culprits immediately. Likewise, infuriating and misleading statements like capitalism is promoting rape and sexual harassment as delivered by Home Minister Thapa and blames labeled by the Prime Minister KP Oli and another NCP leader Bhim Bahadur Rawal of politicizing the issues have also to be bunged. As more than three months have already passed and government authorities are doing nothing than saying that the perpetrators will be nabbed within a week, the issue should be taken as matter of shame by the government realizing the fact that sacking of two police officials is neither enough nor this has ensured justice to the victim.
Around half a dozen investigation teams, formed either by the Home Ministry or by the Nepal police, have failed even to reach nearer to the culprit (s) as to why that there was so much of bungling into the investigation from the very beginning. As the entire probes made so far have failed to identify the culprit(s) the government, the suggestions made by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) would be a supporting point for further investigation. As of the suggestion of the NHRC, retest the DNA of all suspects has to be conducted by evaluating the overall laboratory process for any lapses. As of the indication of the NHRC, the lapses made while conducting DNA tests, conclusion of the post-mortem report that the victim’s vocal cord was broken, the lost CCTV footages of the nearby Hotel Opera, where Nirmala was believed to have gone on June 25, and the army barracks close to the crime scene have to be taken as reference for further investigation.