Dilip Singh Bista of Bhimdutta-19 who was paraded by the police as the main accused in the rape and murder of teenager Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur has been released on Tuesday.
Government attorney Khem Raj Bhatta told Setopati that Bista has been released on date by the District Government Attorney Office as per rights granted by the new General Code. “DNA profiling of the samples collected from Nirmala Panta’s body has been completed. That does not match with the DNA of Bista. He has, therefore, been released,” Bhatta explained.
The body of 13-year-old Panta of Bhimdutta municipality 2, who had gone to a friend’s home for study on July 26, was found at a sugarcane field the next day.
Nirmala’s friend Roshani Bam, whose house she had visited before she was raped and murdered, has been handed over to guardians by the District Government Attorney Office while Roshani’s elder sister Babita has been released on bail of Rs 30,000.
The police on August 18 arrested Dilip Singh Bista, 41, and produced him before the Kanchanpur District Court as the main accused. But the locals have been claiming that Bista has been framed by the police to save the real culprits.
Nirmala’s father Ek Raj has claimed that the police put pressure on him to file a complaint identifying Bista as the main accused.
One boy was killed in police firing and dozens injured in clashes with police as the locals protested for days accusing the police of trying to save the real culprits.
The then SP of Kanchanpur Dilli Raj Bista was then suspended for mishandling the case.
Nirmala’s friend Roshani Bam and her elder sister Babita Bam were arrested on August 25 following the intense public pressure.
The government on August 23 had formed the five-member probe committee under Director General of the Department of Prison Management Hari Mainali.
An under secretary, part of that committee, resigned and appealed for safety of his life citing threats from ‘powerful’ criminals on Monday.
Under Secretary at the Internal Affairs Ministry of Province 7 Birendra KC resigned on Monday and appealed to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and other bodies for safety of his life stating that he may be murdered by ‘powerful’ criminals due to the investigations he did on the case.
“I argued that the time to keep the accused in custody will expire and the DNA tests will also be complicated by extension of the committee’s deadline, but the deadline was still extended,” KC told Setopati.
He stated that he left the committee as he felt it was impossible from his side to provide justice to Nirmala and her family through the probe committee. He added that he has resigned from the committee after feeling that preparing the report will result in a bigger security threat.
The central government had extended the probe committee’s deadline by 15 days on Sunday.