More than two months after rape and murder of Nirmala Panta, Nepal Police has not been able to identify the culprits and arrest them. Instead, very investigation process, including the DNA tests of suspects, has come under question. Where did this process go wrong? How should such investigations be handled? Professor Dr Harihar Wasti, Chief Consultant at Forensic Medicine Department, explained various steps of forensic and post-mortem investigation process in an interview with Mahabir Paudyal andThira L Bhusal.
In cases like rape, investigation process should not only be credible, it must also be seen as credible.
It appears that Scene of Crime Officer (SoCO) was not present at the crime scene in Nirmala Panta’s case. If SoCO was there he/she would not have allowed to wash off the victim’s trousers.
Results of DNA tests are mostly irrefutable. If the samples had been taken correctly the results do not lie. For DNA does not lie.
We need enough SoCOs on the ground. They need to be fully trained and they should discharge their duty honestly.
I see the increasing trend of the media disseminating its own judgment on rape cases instead of reporting the truth. This should be stopped.