KATHMANDU, Jan 2: As the ´Occupy Baluwater´ movement is still gaining momentum with wider participation by people, including dozens of disabled on Wednesday, the monitoring committee formed to look into cases of violence against women including Sita Rai, Saraswati Subedi and Chhorimaiya Maharjan has some news of substantial progress with the cases.
According to spokesperson of the National Women´s Commission Mohna Ansari, investigations particularly into the above-mentioned three cases are going well regarding both the legal and technical aspects.
Ansari is a member of the investigation committee formed at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattari himself at the PM ´s residence at Baluwatar, Sunday.
The PM has directed the committee to submit a report regarding the cases within 15 days.
“Details concerning the Rai case will most probably come out tomorrow, and there has been significant development in that case,” said Ansari.
“Similarly, a re-post mortem will be done on Saraswait´s body tomorrow by a team of seniormost doctors. It could not be done today as the body was not in a defreeze state. On the other hand, the accused in the case are being booked and interrogated” Ansari said.
Father of Saraswoti Subedi in the protest. (Photo: Keshab Thoker)
She further reported that there have been some developments in the Maharjan case as well and these would be publicized soon.
Meanwhile, talking to Republica, human right activist Bandana Rana said that the demonstrations outside Baluwatar would go on till the deadline and at the same time an informal committee led by some youths are keeping an eye on the investigation committee formed by the government.
“This movement has not been led or backed by any particular group. It is purely a people ´s movement and wider participation is being seen every new day,” she said. “And in order to exert pressure on them, it will go on till the deadline for the investigation committee to submit its report. Encouragingly, participation by youths has been remarkable, and they are in regular contact with the investigation committee to track progress,” she added.
Sumnima Karki, one of the youths who has been part of the movement since day one last Thursday, stated that the investigation has been satisfactory so far. “We are constantly in contact with the monitoring committee. We have been told that Dr Bhagwan Koirala and some other doctors would be conducting Subedi´s re-post mortem tomorrow. The cases of Sita Rai and others are also on the right track,” said Karki.
Protests against gender-based violence last week were trigged by the demands for justice for Sita Rai, who was robbed and raped allegedly by airport officials, for Saraswati Subedi, who was allegedly murdered, Bindu Thakur and Shiva Hasmi, who were burnt to death, and Chhorimaiya Maharjan, who remains missing since the last 10 months, among others.