Growing incidents of rape have terrorised girls and women of Kanchanpur. Five rape cases were reported in the district in the last one month. Two of the victims were murdered after rape.
The latest victim was 13-year-old Nirmala Panta from Bhimdatta Municipality, whose body was discovered in a sugarcane field on July 26, a day after she was reported missing. While the case grabbed national attention and elicited public furore, the authorities are yet to arrest the perpetrators. This has further stoked fear among Kanchanpur residents.
The fact that the persons who raped and murdered the minor girl are still free has not settled well with them. Girls, women and parents who have daughters are angry and terrified at the same time. Outraged by what they called police incompetence, they took to the streets on Monday, demanding safety of girls and women and stringent laws against rape.
The Monday’s rally attendees had been further galvanized by the reports of police and the local administration pressuring the parents of Nirmala to cremate their daughter without any protest.
Nirmala was cremated on July 31, four days after her body was discovered, in a low-key funeral, and amid the presence of security personnel who were there to quell protests against the local administration.
Two incidents of attempted rape, in which both victims were minor girls, have been reported after Nirmala’s death.
Police said they were serious about ensuring safety of girls and women.