60 cases of rape reported in six months

Kathmandu, February 6

Police today arrested two persons for allegedly raping as many minors in Srijananagar, Suryabinayak Municipality-5, Bhaktapur.

According to a complaint lodged with police, Amar Pandit, 22, and Sandip Roy, 28, of Sarlahi district had raped the minors aged 14 and 15 years yesterday

night. While Pandit had been living in Suryabinayak Municipality, Roy had been living in Baneshwor recently. Police have also seized a knife from the suspects. It indicates that the duo raped the victims at knifepoint, investigators said.

Similarly, police arrested Basanta Tamang, 18, of Lalitpur  yesterday on charge of raping a five-year-old girl. Tamang had been living in Kamalbinayak, Bhaktapur Municipality-10 recently. A complaint lodged by the minor’s guardians with police said that Tamang lured the girl into his rented room and raped her on January 14.

These incidents of rape have come into the spotlight when Nepal Police are under pressure to bring to book the perpetrators of the January 21 ‘gang rape’ that took place at a Durbar Marg-based hotel. If statistics released by Metropolitan Police Office are any indication, heinous crime of rape continues unabated in Kathmandu Valley despite enforcement of stringent laws against rape.

As many as 60 cases of rape were reported in the past five months (mid-July to mid-January) of the running fiscal compared to 70 during the corresponding period last fiscal. It shows only a slight decrease in rape cases, making it a dangerous place for women and girls. The Valley witnessed 156 rape cases in 2016-17 compared to 135 in 2015-16.

Police attribute the increase in reported rape cases to more women coming forward due to greater public awareness but say that many more cases go unreported, as victims are often too scared to come forward to lodge complaints of rape due to the fear of retribution and social stigma.