Hundreds of protesters marched from Maitighar Mandala to New Baneshwor on Saturday, demanding justice for Nirmala Pant, the 13-year-old who was raped and subsequently strangulated to death in Mahendranagar in July.The march was attended by people from all walks of life, including young children, as they chanted slogans demanding that the government arrest and punish the culprits with the harshest actions possible.

Protesters carried signs that read ‘Nirmala is our sister’, ‘We want justice’, ‘Punish the rapists’, ‘Government, show concern’, ‘Where is women protection?’, ‘Hey, Silent Government!’ and expressed their dissatisfaction over the delay in nabbing the culprits. Local residents in Kanchanpur and protesters across the country have expressed outrage at the authorities’ failure to take action against the investigating officers, who have been accused of tampering with evidence at the crime scene.

Emotions ran high when Nirmala’s parents arrived in New Baneshwor, where the march had turned into a sit-in. A frail, tearful, and overwhelmed Durga Devi Pant, surrounded by her kin and rights activists, thanked the supporters who had gathered to mount pressure on the government.

“How can I return and continue my livelihood while the culprits roam free and the memories of my raped and dead daughter haunt me? Please help us find the culprit and provide justice to my child,” a visibly shaken Durga Devi told the protesters.“It’s nearly two months since I lost my child. The culprits are being protected by powerful people. We cannot fight with those people alone so we need the support of all Nepalis,” said Yagya Raj Pant, Nirmala’s father.

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