The three years of Nirmala Panta rape and murder case

It has already been three years since a 13-year-old girl, Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur district was raped and brutally murdered. According to her family, she went to a friend’s home and never made it home back. Her body was found in tragic condition in the sugarcane fields close to her home the next day. The autopsy report showed that she was sexually assaulted prior to the murder.

Protests sparkled not only in her hometown Kanchanpur but also nationwide for justice to Nirmala Panta for weeks and months but all in vain. A fourteen-year-old boy named Sunny Khunna was killed during one of the protests in Mahendranagar and many more were injured.

Various controversies came forward during the investigation of the case. Many were framed as culprits and were later found to be innocent. Initially, police framed a 41-year-old man Dilip Singh Bista, who was later found to be mentally unsound and wasn’t capable of committing the crime. He was framed by the police to hide their incompetence or to defend the criminal that is not known to date. Another controversy was the involvement of Bom sisters, who were later released in the absence of sufficient evidence.

During the investigation of the case, fingers were led upon the Superintendent of Police (SP) Diliraj Bista, and was suspended for the course of time. He was later reinstated back to his post. It was claimed that there is the involvement of his son in the case. Later the DNA test proved it false. Many persons have been detained and released, but no conclusive proof has been found. 

This shows the impunity in the country where one can commit crimes and roam freely in the open sky. The person can commit a crime more often and victims might not get justice as Nirmala. We have been taught that ‘nobody is above law’ but this case disproves this statement. Law is equal to everyone except those who is in power. They can practice and bend the laws according to their needs and wants.

This case has brought shame to the country. This has exposed the lawlessness and incompetency of the state mechanisms. This case has brought the attention of many international agencies. Cases like this create a negative impression of the country to the international forum.

However, this is not the case where victims have not been subjected to justice. There are many Nirmalas’ out there who are raped daily and murdered brutally. In the year 2019-20, there are 2,144 reported cases of rape, 687 attempted rape which is a rise in the previous figure of 2017-18 i.e., 1,480 cases of rape reported and 727 cases of attempted rape. There is a necessity to look into why the cases are surging. There is the necessity for proper research on why the cases are increasing and what can be done to decrease the cases of rape and murder in the country. 

Despite all the efforts, this case has led down the family of Nirmala Panta and the people of the nation. There is no guarantee as in a victim can get justice easily. Not only victim but this is an injustice to family, nation, and humankind as a whole.

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