Thirteen-year-old Nirmala Pant asked her mother permission to go to her friend’s place two kilometres away. The ninth grader wanted to go to her friend Roshni Bam (Aanchal) to do her homework and fetch a notebook her friend had borrowed from her. At 11 am that day, Pant left her home in Bhimdutta Nagar-2 on her bicycle.

Nirmala would have normally returned home in a few hours, but she did not return even after dark that day. Her parents, both of whom are daily wage earners, were restless. She went to the Bams’ house at night to look for her daughter. But the sisters told her Nirmala had left at 2pm–they even gave her some guavas to eat along the way. According to Panta’s mother, she went to local police to request them to look for her daughter. However, police officials took the complaint ‘lightly’, allege the members of the Pant family. Nirmala’s mother stayed at the local police station until 2 am.

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