49 patients rescued from rehab centre

Kathmandu, December 28

Police raided a rehab centre in Bishnumati of Budhanilkantha Municipality-5 and rescued 49 women patients, who were allegedly subjected to physical and metal torture by its owner.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Homindra Bogati at Teku-based Metropolitan Police Range said yesterday’s raid was conducted following a complaint lodged by a section of women that the owner and employees of Kripa Ghar Rehab Centre had been meting out inhuman treatment to patients, who expected proper medical care and psycho-social service.

District Administration Office and Maiti Nepal had cooperated with police to conduct raid and rescue the alleged victims.

He informed that Shruti Gurung, 30, its owner and three others were arrested for further investigation and legal action. The rescued women include a Russian national with her two children. It was found that the Russian women had taken shelter there after expiry of her tourist visa. A total of 25 persons have been reintegrated with their families, while 24 others are in the custody of Maiti Nepal. They are between the ages of 12 and 60 years.

According to police, the rehab centre also lacked basic facilities as required under the existing laws. The women were found to have been kept in congested rooms with no adequate space to sleep. The owner of the rehab centre treated them as servant and made the victims wash dishes and clothes despite charging each of them Rs 25,000 a month.

The owner used to collect the fee of six months in lump sum. Kathmandu District Court has remanded Gurung and three others to five-day judicial custody. They will be liable to a jail term of up to five years and a fine not exceeding Rs 50,000, if convicted.

Earlier on December 7, police had raided Transformation Nepal in Sukedhara and rescued 21 patients after 13 patients escaped from the centre and filed a complaint. It was men-only rehab centre. The victims were being tortured and not given proper treatment in the rehab centre licensed to provide service to drug and alcohol addicts and mentally retarded persons, police said.