Banke activists withdraw protest after four-point deal with governmentThe government has agreed to get the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police to probe Kurmi's disappearance, implement Home Ministry’s probe report and provide security to the protesters.
The government and the activists from Banke have sealed a four-point agreement on the 42nd day of the sit-in at Maitighar.
Pradeep Koirala, a joint-secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ruby Khan, who had been leading the protest, reached an agreement ending the protest. The group of 16 activists had been staging sit-in in the Capital since November 25 demanding justice for Nankunni Dhobi, who was murdered mysteriously, and Nirmala Kurmi, who remains missing since 2010.
The activists agreed to give up their agitation after the government agreed to get the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police to investigate Kurmi's disappearance, implement Home Ministry’s probe report and provide security to the protesters.
“We have ended our protest with the agreement,” Khan told the Post. “We believe the government lives up to the deal.”
Earlier in October, the group had staged a 12-day sit-in at Maitighar, which ended after the Ministry of Home Affairs agreed to form an investigation committee to look into the death of Nankunni and the disappearance of Nirmala.
Their protest drew national attention as they had walked for 20 days all the way from Nepalgunj, Banke, to Kathmandu in search of justice. Nankunni, 38, was found dead under suspicious circumstances at her home on July 20 in Ward 2 of Janaki Rural Municipality in Banke. Nirmala, 52, had gone missing in January 2010 from the same rural municipality. Her disappearance came just two years after her two teenage sons were murdered within the span of a week.
The government formed a probe committee led by Hiralal Regmi, a joint-secretary at the ministry. The committee on October 31 submitted its report to Minister for Home Affairs Bal Krishna Khand recommending arrest of, and investigation into, eight people for their alleged involvement in the disappearance of Nirmala. The police arrested seven, who were released later, but never arrested Badshah Kurmi, a member of the first Constituent Assembly.
Badshah, a Nepali Congress leader, was in Kathmandu when the Regmi panel submitted its report. However, the police took no steps to arrest him. Badshah was busy in the Congress’ 14th general convention as party representative when the 16 people were protesting at Maitighar.