Under secretary rejoins probe committee after resigning citing threats to life

The under secretary, who resigned from the committee formed to investigate rape and murder of teenager Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur and appealed for safety of his life citing threats from ‘powerful’ criminals, has rejoined the committee.
Organizing a press conference at the Home Ministry in Kathmandu Wednesday afternoon, Under Secretary at the Internal Affairs Ministry of Province 7 Birendra KC stated that he has returned to work of his own volition as both he and the Home Ministry aim to provide justice for Nirmala.
KC had 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 had told Setopati. “I left the committee after my repeated requests to not extend the deadline as that may invite accident and the guilty may escape were not heeded.”
He had 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 after resignation. He had added that he resigned from the committee after feeling that preparing the report will result in a bigger security threat but had refused to divulge who he was under threat from.
But he did not speak about security threats while rejoining the probe committee on Wednesday.
The central government on August 23 had formed the five-member probe committee under Director General of the Department of Prison Management Hari Mainali.
The government had extended the probe committee’s deadline by 15 days on Sunday.
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.
The police on August 18 arrested Dilip Singh Bista, 41, of Bhimdutta-19 and produced him before the Kanchanpur District Court as the main accused.
But the District Government Attorney Office released Bista on Tuesday after DNA samples collected from Nirmala Panta’s body did not match with that of Bista.



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