Incident Reports

Police intervene rally demanding justice for Nirmala Pant

2020-01-13

Province 7, Kanchanpur, Bhimdatta

Security personnel intervened in a peaceful protest staged by women rights activists in front of the Kanchanpur District Court on Monday demanding justice for Nirmala Pant. 

Sharada Chand, a Kanchanpur-based rights activist, was injured in the alleged police excesses. She sustained injuries on her neck and abdomen in the incident. Injured Chand has been referred to Dhangadhi as her treatment was not possible in Mahakali Hospital, Mahendranagar, said Dr Saroj Acharya at the hospital.

The protesters decried police excesses and demanded action against the guilty. “We were staging a peaceful sit-in in front of the court. The police personnel intervened in the protest and used force to suppress our protest. Policemen started manhandling women protesters,” said Chand.

The right activists and some local women had staged the sit-in, demanding a fair investigation into the rape and subsequent murder case of Nirmala Pant. They said the peaceful protest was organised to draw the court’s attention stating that police were attempting to frame Dilip Singh Bista again.

Police, however, denied using force against the protesters. “The security personnel just asked the protesters to move their protest programme to some other place as their sit-in affected the functioning of the court,” said Superintendent of Police Mukunda Marasini.

Nirmala was raped and murdered on July 26 last year in Bhimdutta Municipality, Kanchanpur. Police had arrested Dilip Bista claiming that he was involved in the crime. However, he was released later as his DNA test did not match with the vaginal swab of the victim.

Rights activists suspect that police are attempting to frame Dilip yet again. “It has been more than one and a half years. Police are still trying to justify that Dilip Bista was involved in the case. We demand they find the real culprit(s) involved in the heinous crime,” said Laxmi Malla, a protester.

Several high-level committees have been formed to probe into the rape and murder of the 13-year-old girl but no answer has come forth. “The investigation is still going on. The culprit(s) involved in the crime is still not known,” said Marasini.

Meanwhile, four injured people who sustained serious injuries during the violent protest in August last year, have been staging the sit-in in front of the district administration office for the past week. They have been demanding expenses for their treatment.

Details and Impacts
Violent / Non-violent Nonviolent
Primary Form Gherau/Dharna (sit-in)/padlocking
Secondary Form Detention of Protesters
Primary Cause Issues related to legal action and access to justice
Secondary Cause Freedom of Assembly
Actor 1 - Number of people 10
Actor 1 - Affiliations Women's Rights Activists
Actor 1 - Youth unknown
Actor 2 - Number of people N
Actor 2 - Affiliation (Target) Other state institutions
Actor 2 - Youth na
National/Online Media

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