Action sought against Parajuli

Kathmandu, July 2

National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders has demanded stern action against Hari Parajuli, who resigned as minister for agricultural development today, for his alleged indecent behaviour with women during Tuesday’s paddy plantation programme organised in Mulpani.

Issuing a press statement, NAWHRD condemned the indecent conduct of the minister with women in a public place. It said as many women have been facing sexual violence in their workplace, women’s rights activists have staged protests to end such situation in the country.

Parajuli had run into controversy and faced a storm of criticism after video clips and photographs of him hugging women were posted online. Images of Parajuli, trying to hug women during the paddy plantation celebrations had gone viral on social media, sparking accusations of sexual harassment.

“The Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Eradication) Act, 2014 has a provision of action in the strongest form against any person holding public post if he is found involved in sexual harassment. So Parajuli should be brought to book under the law for what he did to women of Mulpani, Kathmandu,” reads the statement. It said that the indecent behaviour of Parajuli during the paddy plantation celebrations has not only jeopardised women’s self-esteem, dignity and pride but also has made all Nepalis bow their head in shame.

“His activities have shown a clear face of some people sitting in the policy level,” it said.

Loom Nepal, an organisation working for women’s rights, has also demanded that the government as well as the CPN-UML, Parajuli’s party, to take action against him.