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Activists submit VAW report to Regmi

  Say they expect action not a long term govt policy paper

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: A high level investigation committee formed to study cases taken up by the Occupy Baluwatar campaign has submitted its report to Chairman of the Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi.

The committee was formed on April 12 under the coordination of Rajuman Singh Malla, secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers to address cases taken up by the campaign in the next 125 days.

The new committee was formed after the December 30 report submitted by Malla failed to address issues related to cases raised by the campaign.

Unlike the earlier report that only focused on particular VAW cases, the new report demanded amendment of a number of laws related to violence against women, and demanded life sentence for perpetrator in cases of gang rape and rape of a minor.

According to the report, lack of scientific investigating mechanism, and negligence by security forces are major causes for increase in VAW cases.

The security mechanism should also be held responsible and accountable to the legal system of the country. For this, the government should provide enough resources and train them in capacity building, the report added.

Stating that some government operated service centres for VAW victims were not delivering effectively, the committee recommended an effective, and result-oriented mechanism to deal with VAW cases, and also sought ‘Gender Based Violence Elimination Fund’ to rescue and provide medical facilities to victims, and also a hospital-based One Stop Crisis Centre.

Occupy Baluwatar Campaigner Bidhushi Dhungel said they had halted their protests after Regmi assured he would address all VAW cases raised by the campaign.

“However, the report has not even mentioned the names of the cases,” she said.

“We had asked for solutions not a policy paper.” She said they will soon hold a meeting to discuss plans of the campaign.

Stating that the government had only presented a long term policy solution for resolving cases, another campaigner Souvidhya Manoj said the government should also focus on short term solutions to existing problems.

The movement, initiated by a group of individuals from different walks of life, has been seeking justice for Sita Rai (name changed), who was robbed and allegedly raped by government officials while returning from Saudi Arabia, Shiwa Hasmi of Bardiya district, Saraswoti Subedi of Anamnagar, Bindu Kumari of Bara district and Chhori Maya Maharjan of Kathmandu, ward 21.

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