TIA rape victim draws support from all walks of life
KATHMANDU, Dec 28: People from various walks of life turned up in front of the Prime Minister´s residence in Baluwatar on Friday demanding justice to Sita Rai (name changed), who was robbed by an official of the Department of Immigration (DoI) and allegedly raped by a police constable later on November 21.
Rai, who hails from Bhojpur, had filed a complaint on December 23 at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) against a first class non-gazetted officer Som Nath Khanal accusing him of robbing Rs 218,000 from her at the DoI on November 21, according to the report submitted by the ministry´s joint secretary Bhola Siwakoti-led probe panel.
Rai has also accused police constable Parshuram Basnet of raping her.
According to human rights activist Mandira Sharma, security personnel did not allow the protestors to hand over memorandum to the prime minister. “Security personnel did not allow us to meet PM saying he had left for Pokhara.”
Though the cabinet meeting held on Thursday decided to provide Rs 150,000 to Rai in compensation, the government has taken no action against the two accused other than suspending them from service for two months.
According to Mohana Ansari, a member of the National Women Commission (NWC), the commission wants the government to publicize the report submitted by joint-secretary Siwakoti.
“It is unlikely for a low-ranking official and police personnel to show this level of audacity without protection from the higher-ups,” said Ansari, who is also a law practitioner.
All the identified perpetrators currently hold government posts, the women commission has also demanded that the punishment to the accused be doubled, said Ansari. As per the Nepal Police Act 1956 and the Police Regulation 1959 a security personnel accused of a criminal activity is suspended until the court´s verdict.
Similarly, the Civil Service Act 1993 disqualifies an employee from government post if found involved in serious crimes.
Around six dozens activists including CNN Hero Pushpa Basnet took part in the protest throughout the day in front of the PM´s residence.