Protest continues in Bardibas against rape and murder of six-year-old girlDemonstrators block East-West Highway as they also demand justice for a protester killed in police clash.
The highway town of Bardibas in Mahottari district remained tense for the third day as demonstrators descended on the East-West Highway to protest the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl.
The highway traffic was obstructed from noon due to the obstructions caused by the demonstrators, who have been demanding a stern punishment for the perpetrator.
The body of the six-year-old was found stuffed in a sack on Monday, a day after she was reported missing. She had been allegedly raped and subsequently murdered by her neighbour, a man whom police have identified as Arun Sah. The 25-year-old suspect is currently in police custody.
Although the child’s family had agreed to withdraw the protest during an all-party meeting on Wednesday, the townspeople continued to demonstrate on Thursday.
An all-party meeting called by the local administration on Wednesday had reached a four-point agreement with the girl’s family. The meeting had agreed, among others, to offer compensation to the child’s family and launch a fair inquiry into the incident.
The people at Thursday’s protest said they were not content with the agreement. A protester’s death in Tuesday’s clash has further stoked their anger and they want justice for the deceased man as well.
Three protesters had sustained critical injuries when security personnel opened fire at the demonstration on Tuesday. One of them died while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Kathmandu that same night.
On Wednesday, protesters staged demonstrations demanding martyrdom for the deceased man and compensation for his family and the two other injured protesters.
Bardibas Municipality on Thursday organised a press meet and assured compensation to the families of the protesters who were killed and injured in Tuesday’s clash.
Bidur Kumar Karki, mayor of the municipality, said, “We have requested the government to declare the deceased man a martyr and to provide compensation to his family and to the families of the two injured persons We have also requested for judicial investigation in the girl’s rape and murder case.”
Karki also requested all stakeholders and protesters to exercise calm and restraint while the authorities investigate the case.
Meanwhile, the United Nations in Nepal has condemned the rape and murder of the child. Issuing a statement on Thursday, the UN Office of the Resident Coordinator urged relevant authorities to urgently follow due process and ensure that the perpetrator is held accountable.
Amnesty International Nepal has also called for an immediate investigation into the use of excessive force by security personnel while controlling a demonstration after rape and murder of the minor.