Deaf-mute rape victim responding to treatment

Kathmandu, June 21

A 35-year old woman, who was gang-raped by Armed Police Force men, is steadily responding to treatment and doctors said they plan to start psychotherapeutic treatment in sign language for her speedy recovery.

A group of parliamentarians today visited the speech and hearing-impaired victim, who is also a mother of an 18-year old son, at Thapathali-based maternity hospital.

The victim, who is a permanent resident of Shivaraj Municipality ward 10, Kapilbastu was raped by a group of ten APF men on June 12, as claimed by her family members.

The victim visited hospitals in Taulihawa, Butwal, Bhairahawa and other places before being finally admitted to Thapathali-based Maternity Hospital on June 16.

Her sister-in-law Ram Dulari Tharu said the victim was gang raped when she had been to a jungle near the APF barracks to graze buffaloes. “She was forcibly taken away by the APF men from the place where she was grazing her buffaloes at around 7:00 pm on June 12,” Tharu said, adding, “She was almost unconscious with bite marks on various parts of her body when she returned home.”

The victim along with her family then lodged a complaint at a nearby police station. A few of the alleged perpetrators were arrested for investigation immediately, she said.

“The rapists were identified by a T-shirt, scandals and soap which were found at the incident site,” she added.

She also said that the victim had made attempts to escape from the hospital and was insisting to go home.

Around a dozen lawmakers, including chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Social Justice and Human Rights Sushil Kumar Shrestha, today met the victim and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Shrestha said the rape of a helpless woman was a barbaric act. He said the parliamentary committee would issue strict instruction to the concerned authorities to take stern legal action against the guilty.

Lawmaker Tuka Bhadra Hamal said, “Security persons are considered to be the protectors. Their involvement in such a heinous act is intolerable.”

Gynecologists and obstetricians attending to her said the victim was gradually recovering. She said, “We are providing her free medical treatment but sometimes she gets hyperactive when there is a crowd in front of her. “We will provide her psychotherapeutic treatment in sign language as she cannot listen and speak.”

Meanwhile, various non-government organisations are collecting funds to support the treatment of the victim. They have also demanded action against the perpetrators.

DSP Ajaya Chatakuli, chief of Information Section at APF Headquarters, today said the office had directed the concerned chief of the barracks to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Two cadres suspected of involvement in the rape have already been suspended and handed over to Nepal Police for further investigation,” he said.