Justice demands for suspected rape/murder victim Bhagarathi Bhatta intensifies

Kathmandu, Nepal:

Calls for justice for suspected rape/murder victim of Bhagarathi Bhatta has intensified from all realms of society. On Saturday, cadres of the All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union, the student wing of the Nepal Communist Party, staged a protest in Maitighar of Kathmandu on Saturday demanding justice for victims of rape and subsequent murder.

The body of 17-year-old Bhagarathi Bhatta from Dogada Kedar Rural Municipality of Baitadi, who had gone to school on Wednesday, was found in a dreadful condition on Thursday. 

According to police, the girl is suspected to have been raped before being killed. The family of the deceased has also made similar claims.

She was a grade 12 student at the local Sanatan Dharma School. When she did not return home that day, a search was carried out and her dead body was found in a nearby community forest the following day. 

The body was found half-naked. The clothes of the deceased were torn and there was blood in the underwear, remnant of the yet unsolved rape and murder case of Nirmala Panta in Kanchanpur on July, 2018.

A police officer involved in the investigation said that a large amount of blood was found in the girl’s vagina and mouth. “She may have been raped and killed by a group of two or more people,” the police official said. 

Police suspect that incident had taken place in the bush of Banamara, where the body was found. The incident site is 100 meters below the local Khochalek Chadepani rural road.

Police, however, have yet to book the culprit(s) in the case and investigation is underway.

Six persons who had been detained for questioning into the matter have been released.

Police added that the exact cause of death would be determined once they receive the post-mortem report.

Family members of the deceased have refused to receive the body until the guilty are booked. Local residents staged a protest yesterday demanding detailed investigation into the case and that the culprit(s) be arrested as soon possible.

Meanwhile, social media calls from the public has been urging government to not allow this case to be “another Nirmala Panta” incident.