Nepal | February 28, 2020

Group of active social media users submit memo to NHRC regarding Mahara rape case

Ankit Khadgi

KATHMANDU: Social media users, who express their concerns over various issues on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, are criticised often for limiting their dissatisfaction to cyberspace. Many people point fingers at them stating that change is only possible if their words are converted into action.

Today, many people who actively use social media to put forth their views regarding burning issues of social justice came forward in solidarity demanding fair investigation into the Krishna Bahadur Mahara rape case. They have submitted a memorandum to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The group of individuals from different sectors of life united as a group and submitted the memorandum demanding an impartial investigation against former speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara who was accused of rape by Roshani Shahi, which claim she later retracted. This created much confusion and raised many questions, which further indicated an urgent need for investigation.

In the memorandum, people have also requested the NHRC to provide socio-psychological counselling to Shahi and to arrange a safe-shelter for her.

Former Election Commissioner Ila Sharma, Luna Bhattarai who goes by Twitter name दोस्रो दर्जाकी LUNA, Swarna Tamrakar, also known as Wonder Woman in Twitter, Lecturer at Patan Campus, TU, Dr Neeti Aryal Khanal, among others were part of the group who submitted the memorandum.

Some of the participants today are part of the Rage Against Rape movement — which supports rape survivors and speaks against the impunity of authorities when they deal with rape cases.

While submitting the memorandum, the group said that they are putting their trust on the Commission to deliver fair justice and appealed the national human rights body to protect the rights of Shahi by providing her with all necessary services.

The memorandum was received by Anup Raj Sharma, current Chairperson of NHRC who assured that the Commission will take further steps for fair investigation of this case in the coming days.

An official from NHRC said that they are monitoring the updates of the case and will be in regular contact with the authorities to know how the investigation is moving forward.

Meanwhile, during the handover programme, the group also put forward their queries about how NHRC is performing their responsibilities with regards to the case and what services have been provided to Shahi so far.

Since multiple news have surfaced regarding how Shahi has been suffering psychologically for the past few years, the group demanded the Commission to offer psychological counselling saying that she might be in trauma and may be in need of support.

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