KATHMANDU: A secretariat meeting of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has decided on the resignation of Krishna Bahadur Mahara from the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as Member of Parliament. Mahara was accused of rape by a staff of the federal parliament secretariat.
Spokesperson of the ruling party, Narayan Kaji Shrestha told THT Online that the secretariat meeting held earlier today has decided that Mahara will stepdown from the post of Speaker to facilitate investigation following the accusation. Additionally, Mahara will no longer remain a Member of Parliament.
The news of rape surfaced after hamrokura.com published a report on September 30, where the woman has accused Mahara of raping her in her own residence. The victim (whose identity has not been disclosed) said that Mahara came to her rented apartment located at Tinkune in an inebriated state on Sunday evening and raped her.
According to the accuser, Mahara used to visit her residence in the past also as her husband (who was out of the town on Sunday) had a close association with him. She claimed that Mahara had brought alcohol and snacks alongwith and started drinking in her room, while persuading her to join him.
She alleged that Mahara then forced himself upon her and when she tried to stop him, he physically abused her.
Hamro Kura‘s investigation also claims that Mahara’s reading-glasses which were broken in the brawl was found in the staffer’s house along with the sole of his shoe.
In a secured audio which THT Online received, the woman claims that Mahara had called her saying he would visit her place. She said, she tried to stop Mahara from visiting her place but he didn’t listen to her and arrived under the influence of alcohol. She said that she called the police for help after Mahara forced himself upon her but they arrived only after he had left the scene.
Similarly, in a video released by Hamro Kura, the woman claims that she has known Mahara for years and that he had shown indecent behaviour in the past as well. She also stated that she had submitted a written application regarding Mahara’s indecent behaviour in 2073 BS to the then Speaker of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal, Onsari Gharti Magar.
Speaker denies involvement
Meanwhile, the press advisor of Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Dilli Malla, released a press release on Monday, rebutting the allegation.
The allegations against the Speaker are unwarranted, fabricated and grave and we ask all to disregard the false rumour, reads the statement.
It adds that the reported ‘misbehaviour’ by the speaker can not be imagined and has been spread to damage the reputation and credibility (character assassination) of the speaker.
According to the statement, Speaker Mahara had reached his office in Singha Durbar at 12:00 on Sunday afternoon and had been there till 2:00. He returned to his residence afterwards and had been there since, further refuting the claims regarding the Speaker’s effects such as his reading glass and shoe sole being present at the incident site.
The press advisor further claims that Speaker Mahara has his glasses with him and that he does not wear shoes with such a sole that was found in the accusor’s home.
The staffer, who accuses the Speaker, was dissatisfied with him after he refused to interfere with adjustment of the civil servants working in the Secretariat, the statement further argues.
It is written that the Speaker was shocked and sad by the false accusation against him. The release claims that this a planned conspiracy against him to assaniate his character and damage his personal and political reputation by bringing forth a ‘puppet.’
Meanwhile, when THT Online contacted Metropolitan Police Circle, Baneshwar, which also handles the cases of Tinkune, the office refused to provide concrete information regarding the case. The Circle said that the victim has yet to file a report and that they can carry out an investigation to the case only after that.
Gagan Thapa, an opposition party leader, has suggested the Speaker to step down from his position so that the authorities can conduct a fair investigation.
Social Media abuzz with demands for fair investigation
Many people have taken to social media demanding a fair investigation into this case wherein a powerful public person has been accused of sexual assault.
Speaker of the House of #Nepal Krishna Bahadur Mahara is #rape accused!He needs to step down to let #impartial investigation prevail!We have seen #impunity and #SilenceOfTheState earlier!Protect the victim who came forward with the allegation #RageAgainstRape
— Hima (हिमा) (@himabista) October 1, 2019
Sexual & physical assault, after forcing alcohol on victim — this is what the Speaker of Parliament did on Sunday, says victim!
— Kashish Das Shrestha (@kashishds) September 30, 2019
आरोप सत्य हो कि होइन अनुसन्धानबाट खुल्ला यदि राजनीतिक शक्ति र पहुँचबाट प्रभावित भएन भने। तर सम्बन्धको पृष्ठभूमि खोतल्दै अनेक तर्कको सहारा लिएर आरोप निराधार भन्नु दण्डहीनतालाई प्रश्रय दिने प्रयास हो। बलात्कार भनेको बलात्कार हो जहाँ जसले जुनबेला जसरी गरेको होस्।
— दोस्रो दर्जाकी Babita Rai (@BabitaRai17) September 30, 2019
१.सबै भन्दा महत्वपुर्ण कुरा घटनाको निष्पक्ष छानबिन हुनु पर्छ ।
२.#करणी घटनामा पिडित र पिडक को हो भन्ने निर्क्योल हामीले होईन, प्रमाणले गर्छ ।
३.तर प्रहरीको प्रमाणलाई आधार मान्ने… !
४.निष्पक्ष छानबिन आवश्यक छ तर “निष्पक्ष” नै प्रश्नको घेरामा रहेको स्थितिमा के गर्ने ?
— Archana Thapa (@archana_thapa) October 1, 2019
this is absolute nonsense ! बलात्कारको आरोप हो यो । “खण्डन”गरेर हुने कुरा होइन । अनुसन्धानमा सघाउन तयार छु भन्नुपर्ने र तयार हुनुपर्ने कुरा हो । ‘फँसाउन” लगाएको आरोप त कसैगरी प्रमाणित हुँदैन । त्यसोभए सभामुख डराउनुपर्ने किन ? pic.twitter.com/BJ2QmXNAlK
— दोस्रो दर्जाकी Sabitri Gautam (@saabitrigautam) September 30, 2019