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Nepal marks anniversary of devastating earthquake

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KATHMANDU — Government officials, diplomats and ordinary people gathered at the remains of a fallen iconic tower in the Nepal Capital on Sunday to mark the anniversary of a devastating earthquake that killed thousands and injured many more in the Himalayan nation.

Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli laid a wreath at the ruins of the Dharahara tower in the heart of Kathmandu. The structure collapsed on April 25 last year, killing 132 people.

“I lost a friend who was working at the top of the tower on that day. I hope he and others are in a good a place,” said Ram Shrestha. He said that he had just stepped out a few minutes before the earthquake to go shopping and survived.

Madhav Neupane, who runs a shop near the tower, witness its collapse. He returned on Sunday with a bouquet of flowers and candles.

“There were many people killed here on that day. I will never be able to forget that day,” said Neupane.

Buddhist monks also gathered at the Kathmandu Durbar Square to pray for nearly 9,000 people killed in the earthquake and aftershocks.

Nepal is under criticism for the slow reconstruction of the nearly 1 million houses despite foreign donors already pledging $4.1 billion in aid.

Millions of people remain homeless.

A small group of about 20 protesters dressed in black took to the streets, chanting slogans criticizing the slow pace of rebuilding. Police quickly removed their banner but allowed them to shout anti-government statements.

AP

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Nirmala Panta’s murder accused held after 24 days

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KANCHANPUR — Police in Kanchanpur have made public an accused arrested in connection with the murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality.

Dilip Singh Bista, 41, of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality was made public at a press conference at the DPO. Bista was arrested on Saturday,according to the District Police Office Spokesperson Deputy Superintendent of Police Gyan Bahadur Sethi.

Nirmala was found dead in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.

Bista,who was released from prison last year after serving nine years for murdering his brother-in-law Narayansingh Thapa, works as a daily-wage labourer.

According to Bista’s statement to police, he helped Nirmala fix her bicycle chain before raping and killing her on July 26. He told police that killed her to avoid being arrested again.

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