Suspect held in connection with rape and murder of 12-year-old girl confesses to his crimeThe victim’s relatives received the body eight days after the crime and performed funeral rites.
Basant Pratap Singh
Rajendra Bohara, the suspect arrested in connection with the rape and subsequent murder of a 12-year-old girl in Bajhang, has admitted his involvement in the heinous crime.
During police interrogation on Wednesday, the accused confessed to murdering the 12-year-old after raping her. He told the investigation officers that he waylaid the girl who was on her way to an animal shed, dragged her to a nearby temple and committed the crime.
According to a police officer who took Bohara’s statement, the suspect said he had murdered the victim with a trident and a hammer, as she had said that she would disclose the incident to the villagers.
“I bashed her head with a stone first. Then I struck her on her back with a trident. She collapsed and I hammered her to death,” the police officer quoted Bohara as saying.
Based on Bohara’s statement, security personnel collected the weapons used in the crime from the temple premises on Wednesday. There were hammers and other construction materials at the site, as the construction of a toilet and other infrastructures is underway in the temple.
The victim’s body was found in the temple in Ward No. 2 of Masta Rural Municipality on September 23. She had gone to feed her cattle at a nearby shed when the incident took place. The shed is just 200 metres away from the temple where the incident occurred.
Police had arrested Bohara, a local of the same rural municipality, on the charge of raping and killing the girl. However, Bohara continued denying his involvement in the crime. The accused is in custody at the District Police Office.
According to the investigation officers who took Bohara’s statement, the suspect had planned to cover up the crime by murdering the victim. During the investigation, it was revealed that Bohara had also raped another 13-year-old girl in the village two months ago.
“The victim of that incident had disclosed what had happened to her. So to avoid being caught this time, he killed the 12-year-old,” the investigation officer said.
Though police were sure of Bohara’s involvement in the crime, the locals had begun questioning the investigation since he had denied the allegations. On Tuesday, the victim’s family and the locals had urged the authorities to conduct DNA and polygraph tests on Bohara.
“The general public had doubts, as Bohara had refused his involvement in the crime. Now that he has confessed to the crime, there is no need for DNA and polygraph tests,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Rupak Khadka. “We will complete the investigation within a few days and file a case at the District Court.”
A team of police investigators, led by DSP Pancha Kumar Bakhu from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), reached Bajhang to investigate the case on Monday.
The victim’s relatives received her body on the eighth day of the crime and performed her last rites in the Seti river near Chainpur, the district headquarters of Bajhang. The funeral was attended by political activists, human rights activists, Dalit rights activists and the locals.
Bikash Kami, the victim’s father who had returned home from India on Sunday, could not attend the final rites of his daughter, as he tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.
The victim’s relatives had refused to receive the body unless police made public the criminal and provided justice to the victim. They agreed to receive the body after police made Bohara public at a press meet on Tuesday evening and the district administration agreed to provide a suitable compensation to the bereaved family.
According to Chief District Officer Ram Bahadur Sarki, the Ministry of Home Affairs has informed the district administration that it will provide Rs 1 million to the victim’s family.
“The provincial government is also holding talks to provide relief to the bereaved family,” he said.