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Nirmala murder: Police start questioning two suspended officers

Suspended Nepal Police SP Dilli Raj Bista and Inspector Jagdish Bhatta will face further interrogation at the Nepal Police Headquarters for their dubious role in the Nirmala Pant rape and murder case.

The grilling intensifies at a time when the duo has to clarify to the Home Ministry why they may not be dismissed from service for mishandling initial probe into the gruesome murder committed in Kanchanpur in July as recommended by the Nepal Police.

A probe team led by Additional Inspector General Dhiru Basnyat has started searching for reasons behind Kanchanpur Police tampering with the evidence and arresting innocent people in an apparent bid to save the perpetrators.

On August 19, police arrested 41-year-old Dilip Singh Bista, a mentally ill resident of Bhimdutta Municipality-19, and paraded him as the main culprit the next day. He was released after a DNA analysis found him innocent.

Speaking to the Post, AIG Basnyat said, “Investigation has been intensified since the duo’s role has been found dubious.”

Nepal Police had recommended their dismissal based on the report submitted by a probe committee led by Joint-secretary Hari Prasad Mainali, field visit by Inspector General Sarbendra Khanal and briefing by AIG Basnyat.

IG Khanal wrote to the Home Ministry on October 15 recommending the dismissal of SP Bista and Inspector Bhatta. Based on the recommendation, the ministry has asked clarification from the suspended officers.

“We have sent a letter to the Nepal Police asking for the duo’s clarification. Further action will be taken once their clarification arrives,” Home Ministry Spokesperson Ram Krishna Subedi told the Post.

“We work as a link between the accused and the ministry. The clarification will only be seen and analysed by the ministry,” Central Police Spokesperson SSP Shailesh Thapa Kshetri said.


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