NHRC launches probe into ‘gang rape’

Kathmandu, January 31

The National Human Rights Commission has formed a probe committee to investigate into the alleged gang rape of a woman in Durbar Marg-based Hotel Landmark on January 25.

NHRC member and Spokesperson Mohna Anasri issued a press release and said that the probe committee had started investigation to establish the fact. The NHRC also said that its attention was drawn to such cases in which victims were denied justice due to the lack of seriousness and sensitivity on the part of Nepal Police.

“The constitution criminalises sexual violence and requires the perpetrators to compensate the victim as per the existing laws. But in practice, responsible authorities are often found to be settling cases of heinous crimes by forcing the victims to reconcile with the perpetrators,” read the release.

The rights watchdog maintained that women victims of sexual violence were deprived of justice as most of the times police either refused to register cases of rape or attempted to weaken such cases. “Such acts, which are against the national and international laws, of the agency established to protect human rights of citizens can never be considered appropriate,” it said.

Meanwhile, police said they were having a tough time proceeding with investigation into the case of alleged gang rape as ‘the victim was out of touch with the investigators’.

The woman had claimed that she had been gang-raped at the hotel by four persons, including her alleged boyfriend, in a drunken stupor. The next day, the victim filed a case against the four, but Inspector Laxman Singh Thakuri, who was also the litigation officer for Durbar Marg police, forced the woman into reconciling with the rapists ‘by accepting bribe’ and allowed the accused to walk free.

SP Ram Dutta Joshi, who leads a four-member probe panel formed to investigate into the case, said that the victim was not in contact with police till this night. An official informed that she had lodged a verbal complaint of gang rape at Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, on Sunday but did not turn up later to cooperate with police for investigation. Police have already initiated departmental action against Inspector Thakuri.

Likewise, Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, today recalled DSP Tilak Bharati, in-charge of Durbar Marg police, to investigate if he assisted Inspector Thakuri in ‘dismissing’ the case. SP Joshi confirmed that Bharati was relieved of his duties at Durbar Marg police.