DNA test spares police officer, two more suspects

Monday, October 1st, 2018 | | National

A forensic test has found no match between the DNA samples taken from suspended Superintendent of Police Dilliraj Bista and two other suspects with that of the vaginal swab taken from the Kanchanpur rape and murder victim.

According to the Kanchanpur District Police Office, the DNA of the suspended SP Bista, his son Kiran and Ayush Bista of Mahendranagar did not match the vaginal swab of 13-year-old Nirmala Pant. The test was conducted by the Central Police Forensic Science Laboratory.

Nirmala was found strangled to death after rape in a sugar cane field near her house on July 27. Local residents have accused police of protecting the culprits.

Though three teams have been formed to look into the case so far, there has been no progress towards providing justice for the victim.

“The trio’s DNA report is negative. We kept Kiran and Ayush under surveillance soon after a new team arrived in the district for investigation,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Krishna Raj Ojha, the investigating officer.

The Police Headquarters sent the DNA test report to the DPO on Friday. The Kanchanpur DPO made it public after informing the District Attorney’s Office on Sunday.

The Police Headquarters collected the blood samples of the suspended SP, his son and Ayush following pressure from the local people.

Earlier, the DPO had released Dilip Singh Bista, a mentally ill resident of Bhimdutta Municipality-19, in connection with the case, after 25 days in custody as the vaginal swab test of the victim did not match his profile.

No progress in probe

The DPO said that there was no significant progress in finding the culprits. “The investigation has been narrowed. But we are yet to reach the culprit,” said DSP Ojha. He claimed the investigation team had been looking into the matter sincerely. “We detained about 200 people for interrogation and freed them as they were not found guilty, he added.

Meanwhile, the Police Headquarters said investigators were following every possible way to reach the criminal. “Culprits can’t only be traced by the DNA test. We perform the test on suspects as it is a reliable and acceptable evidence. DNA is only one angle and we have many others,” Central Police Spokesperson Senior Superintendent of Police Shailesh Thapa Kshetri told the Post. “We have sent SP Durga Singh Chand to assist the investigation as it is a case related to women and children. We’ve also sent a team of experts and provided it with every technical help.”

Even after the DNA mismatch, SP Bista faces investigation by a team led by AIG Dhiru Basnyat of the police headquarters.

“He is still accused of mishandling evidences. We are conducting a polygraph test, going through the call details and their personal data as well,” said a member of the investigating team, expecting to reach a conclusion soon.

Protests continue

People of Mahendranagar continued their agitation on Sunday, demanding justice for the teenager. They have demanded arrest of the guilty and making public the high-level committee’s probe report. Local women staged a sit-in at Madan Chowk from 9am to 5pm. Another team of women took out a protest rally and submitted a memorandum to the District Administration Office.

Report will be published soon: Home minister

MORANG: Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has pledged to make public the report submitted by a high-level committee formed to probe the rape and murder of the 13-year-old on July 26, soon after the document is discussed in the Cabinet. Talking to reporters at Biratnagar Airport on Sunday, Thapa also renewed his promise to bring the guilty to book soon. Though the committee submitted its report to the Home Ministry on Tuesday, the government is yet to make it public. (PR)