KATHMANDU, Jan 27: Assurances by the home ministry and a formal interaction with Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar on Sunday did little to appease daughters of Chhorimaiya Maharjan, who went missing 11 months ago.
The two-hour long interaction at the National Women Commission brought to light various aspects of gender based violence. But it was Chhorimaiya´s daughters Sudha and Sharmila´s heartrending pleas to the home minister that took center-stage.
"Put yourself in our shoes. You will understand that life becomes a hell. If you are not capable of finding the whereabouts of our mother, do you still deserve the home minister´s chair?" Chhorimaiya´s daughter Sudha questioned Gachchhadar, adding, "The IGP does not want to meet us. Neither has the police department come up with anything concrete after investigations."
Trying to pacify them, Ghacchadar said that the case is taking time due to its sensitive nature. "In some cases, even the police needs to take steps with caution. This is the same with Chhorimaiya´s case too," he said adding that he is equally concerned about the case.
He also maintained that rise in the cases of violence against women is not the result of incompetent administration. "It is not that the cases are increasing but that they are coming to the fore as the society has become aware and the police administration efficient," Ghachhadar said.
Media persons, lawyers, human rights activists, representatives of various organizations and youths campaigners of Occupy Baluwatar movement, among others, had also grilled the home minister. Interestingly, Gachhadar deftly averted the questions.
Meanwhile, youths active in the Occupy Baluwatar movement warned that they would take harsher steps if justice was denied to the victims.
"We will not wait for the perpetrators of crimes to be tried in international tribunals. The people will punish them if not the administration as the battle has already begun," said Pranita Koyu, a youth activist.
Termed as Occupy Baluwatar movement, the spontaneous public outcry against gender-based violence was trigged by demands for justice for Sita Rai, who was allegedly robbed and raped by airport officials; Saraswati Subedi, who was allegedly murdered; Bindu Thakur and Shiva Hasmi, who were burnt to death, and Chhorimaiya Maharjan, among others.