24-hour ultimatum to arrest culprits

Kathmandu, March 27:

Organisations working for Dalit, women and human rights issues gave a 24-hour ultimatum to government offices concerned in Lalitpur to look into the case of Kalki Kumari BK, who was accused of practising ‘witchcraft’ and forced to eat excreta.

Constituent Assembly member Binod Pahadi said that he met the chief district officer, chiefs of security agencies and leaders of six political parties in the district to push them to look into the case and punish the culprits.

“If these offices concerned become unable to find out the culprits within 24 hours, we will declare our struggle by tomorrow afternoon,” Pahadi warned. He also claimed that the levelling accusations and torturing someone for witchcraft was a crime against humanity. He demanded that Bimala Lama, the principal of the local Gadibhanjyang Primary School and one of the accused in the incident, be immediately sacked from her job.

Dhan Kumari Sunar, member of National Women Commission, said the shocking incident had drawn serious attention of the commission. She also demanded a thorough investigation into the case. She also informed that BK was brutally tortured by Lama and forced to admit that she was practising witchcraft. “Such incidents are great challenges to the state. The government should find out the culprits and punish them,” she added.

President of National Dalit Commission Ram Lal Bishwokarma said that impunity was increasing day by day and the rule of law was in a deteriorating state. “The state should provide free treatment and appropriate compensation to BK. She should also be assured of full security to return to her village,” he added.

Kalki Kumari pleaded security and justice for her. She also asked the state to find the culprits and punish them.

Human Rights Organisation of Nepal (HURON) has also condemned the incident and

expressed serious concerns about the incident. It also demanded the local administration to bring the culprits to book as per the law.

Meanwhile, leaders of six political parties in the district said today that they were shocked

by the irresponsible attitude of the government bodies concerned in punishing the persons involved in torturing Kalki Kumari. They also appealed to the police administration to investigate the case in a fair way. They also expressed readiness to help the local administration to find the culprits.