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Report on Nirmala Pant rape and murder released; action against police officials suggested

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KATHMANDU — The Ministry of Home Affairs has made public a report prepared by a high level probe committee formed to investigate rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta.

Kanchanpur Police have made several lapses while investigating the rape and murder of Nirmala in Kanchanpur, according to a report published Sunday by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The committee, in its report, has cited mishandling of substantial evidence by police personnel since the very beginning and suggested departmental action against the officers involved in the case.

Body of Nirmala was found on a sugarcane field in Bhimdutta Municipality of Kanchanpur on July 27, a day after she was reported missing. Postmortem report showed that the girl had been raped and subsequently strangulated to death.

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The report said that Kanchanpur Police remained indifferent to complaint of Nirmala’s mother that the teenager had gone missing that fateful evening, and had not searched for her even after her bicycle was spotted.

The committee has also called into question the roles of Bam sisters — Anita alias ‘Babita’ and Anchal alias ‘Roshani’ from whose house Nirmala had gone missing — and recommended that they be investigated seriously, again.

It also charges police with ‘grave negligence and carelessness’ while collecting evidence against the murderer.

Police also failed to mobilise trained dogs to trace the culprits to the site where her body was found, the report stated.

It report said that suspended district police chief SP Dilip Singh Bista failed to deploy security personnel in required numbers for search and security arrangements.

The report concluded that SP Bista and Bam sisters should be investigated in the case.

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The 37-page report published on the Home Ministry’s website stated that Babita Bam in her statement has said that she had attended tuition classes the day Nirmala went missing. However, her bench-mate at the tuition centre and teachers cannot certainly say that she was present, the committee found.

It has also stated that Bam sister’s father requested the tuition centre to tell the investigators that the elder Bam sister had attended the tuition class on the day Nirmala went missing.

The probe panel led by Joint-secretary Hari Prasad Mainali was formed on August 23 to find facts about the gruesome murder that has rocked the country.

One person lost life and more than a dozen were injured when police used force to curb demonstrations in Mahendranagar in August.

The Mainali-led panel submitted its report to Ministry of Home Affairs on September 25.

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Country marking today as Black Day

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KATHMANDU- The country is marking today (December 16) as Black Day to protest the disposition of the first democratically elected government by the late former king Mahendra Shah on December 15, 1960.

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Mahendra took charge of the state with the help of the then Royal Nepali Army and formulated the Panchayat System by overthrowing the elected government led by B.P. Koirala and dissolving the parliament.

Various programmes are scheduled on the occasion.

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