Piple under curfew following protests over woman’s death in suspicious circumstancesThe body of 23-year-old Sujita Bhandari, who had gone missing on June 25, was recovered in a nearby forest on Sunday.
The District Administration Office in Chitwan has issued a curfew order in Piple of Rapti Municipality-3 effective from 7:30 pm on Tuesday following protests by the local residents against the death of 23-year-old Sujita Bhandari.
The residents of Piple had staged demonstrations on Tuesday as well, demanding that the murderers of Bhandari be booked immediately. They obstructed vehicular movement along the East-West Highway for a few hours.
The body of Bhandari, who had gone missing from her house on June 25, was recovered inside the Ghamile forest of Bhandara Piple on Sunday evening. The site where the body was found is around three kilometres from her house.
The curfew order has been clamped within 500 metres on both sides of the East-West Highway from Lothar bridge at Ward No. 1 to Daduwa at Ward No. 4 in Rapti Municipality. The order will be effective for 24 hours.
According to the order issued by Chief District Officer Premlal Lamichhane, only long-route vehicles will be allowed to run on the highway. Anyone found defying the curfew order will be arrested and jailed for up to one month, reads the order.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Surya Thapa said Bhandari’s cell phone set was also recovered near the incident site on Tuesday.
“The set does not have a SIM card but the memory card was intact,” said Thapa.
Security personnel had found the mobile phone’s battery, an old bag and a bottle of insecticide near the site on Monday.
On the day she went missing, the victim had called her sister Kabita Bhandari and told her that she had been kidnapped. Kabita accused the police of failing to take prompt action in finding her sister.
“The post mortem is being performed at the TU Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu. Viscera samples have also been collected for tests. The reports will arrive within a few days,” said Superintendent of Police in Chitwan Om Adhikari.
The District Police Office in Chitwan will make their findings public after analysing the test and investigation reports, Adhikari added.
Meanwhile, a 21-year-old woman from Gaindakot Ward No. 4 in Nawalpur, a neighbouring district of Chitwan, has gone missing from Bharatpur since June 28.
“We have been searching for her since last week. Her whereabouts is still unknown,” said Jayashwar Sapkota, father of the missing woman.
The District Police Office in Chitwan on Tuesday arrested a 23-year-old suspect from Bharatpur Metropolitan City Ward No. 4.
“My daughter had gone to Bharatpur with the suspect. She had told us that she’d be back in half an hour but we have yet to hear from her,” Sapkota said.