Kathmandu. Police have made public the prime accused in Baitadi’s Bhagarathi Bhatta’s rape and murder case. 17-year-old Dinesh Bhatta, a grade 11 student of Sanatan Dharma School – also attended by the victim – has confessed to his crimes afore the investigating officers, says police.
He also lived in the same vicinity as Bhagarathi’s family. His identity was revealed by the Sudurpashchim Province Police during a press conference held today at Baitadi District Police Office. As per the detainee’s initial statement, the criminal act was motivated by a personal grudge.
He said in his confession that his family and the victim’s family had strained relations. He further admitted that he was waiting for the right opportunity to act on his premeditated plans to assault Bhagarathi.
During the investigation, it was found that the accused, on February 3, had followed Bhagarathi to Lablek Community Forest where he raped and murdered her, informed Chief of Sudurpaschim Provincial Police Office, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Uttam Raj Subedi, during the press meet.
DIG Subedi further said that police, during the course of an investigation, found Dinesh Bhatta’s activities suspicious, following which they arrested and made him public on the basis of various technical analyses, his location during the incident, statement of the eyewitnesses, and the accused’s own statement.
Shankar Bhatta, brother of Bhagarathi, registered a first information report (FIR) at Baitadi District Police Office, accusing Dinesh Bhatta of rape and subsequent murder of the teenager. Accused Bhatta was then taken before Baitadi District Court that remanded him into judicial custody for further investigation.
Police had detained dozens of people including a public office holder in Mahendranagar for conducting an investigation into the case.
Bhagarathi, who had attended her school on February 3, never made it home. She was found the next day, lifeless, in the local community forest on February 4.