The postmortem conducted at the District Hospital of Baitadi has confirmed that 17-year-old Bhagarathi Bhatta of Chadepani, Dogadakedar Rural Municipality-7, was raped before being killed.

Bhagirathi was a Grade XII student in the local Sanatan Dharma Secondary School in Khochalek. She had gone to her school on February 3, but did not return home. Her body was found in a jungle around three kilometres away from her home the next day.

A police officer involved in the investigation said that a large amount of blood was found in the girl’s vagina and mouth.

Six persons who had been detained for questioning into the matter have been released. Police, however, have yet to book the culprit(s) in the case and investigation is underway.

Six persons who had been detained for questioning into the matter have been released. Family members of the deceased have refused to receive the body until the guilty are booked.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), meanwhile, issued a press statement on Sunday to inform that its team from the Provincial Office in Dhangadi of Sudurpaschim had left for Baitadi to study the case.

The national rights body also noted that such incidents continued to happen because students are forced to travel long distances for education in the hilly and mountainous regions, and the lack of security had deprived school-going children of their right to live, right to be protected, and their right to development besides making an adverse impact on their psychology.

Urging the government to immediately conduct an impartial and effective investigation, gather evidence, bring the culprits to justice and ensure relief to the families of victims, NHRC said, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights-1948, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights-1966, Convention on the Rights of the Child-1989 along with Nepal’s constitution along with other international rights ensure that everyone has the right to live with dignity, security and justice.”