Another rape-murder incident in Sudurpaschim reminds Nepal of Nirmala Pant

File: Bhagirathi Bhatta

Kathmandu, February 7

It has been over two and a half years since a 13-year-old girl named Nirmala Pant was raped and then murdered in the Kanchanpur district of Sudurpaschim. Nepal Police has not found perpetrators of the crime yet, making the incident one of the most mysterious crimes of the current times.

Yet, another incident in the province has reminded the country of the heinous crime. A 17-year-old girl in Chadepani, Dokdakedar rural municipality-7 of the Baitadi district has been found murdered after rape last week.

Bhagirathi Bhatta was a 12th grader at Sanatan Dharma Secondary School, around one hour away from her house. On Wednesday, February 3, her school closed at 2 pm and she left for her home.

There is a forest between her home and school, hence Bhatta and her friends would cross that together on their way to school and back home. However, that particular day, her friends said they would go to a local hairdresser’s first before going home. Bhatta decided to walk alone.

But, she did not reach home until the late evening, forcing the mother, Draupadi, to beg help from her neighbours for a search.

The villagers gathered for the search mission, but all in vain.

It was only on Thursday afternoon that the schoolkids found a bush in the forest cleared. As they were aware of Bhatta’s disappearance, they smelled a foul play and informed the villagers and then the police.

“I was told that there was a human body thrown,” the rural municipality’s chairman Chakra Bahadur Karki says, “Then, I visited the site. It was Bhagirathi’s.”

Investigators had found the body around 50 metres down the bush with fingerprints over her neck and her private organ bleeding.

Police have collected the victim’s vaginal swab for further investigation. Her postmortem was carried out on Saturday, but the report has not been obtained, informs Police Inspector Janak Dhami at the District Police Office.

A manhunt has been launched in search of the suspects.

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