Police told to devise special plan to curb VAW

Kathmandu, August 30

Alarmed by increasing cases of rape and violence against women throughout the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs has directed Nepal Police to prepare and implement a special action plan against such crimes.

Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa called Inspector General of Police Sarbendra Khanal to his office in Singha Durbar today and drew his attention to the rising graph of rape and VAW in recent times.  “Minister Thapa directed IGP Khanal to come up with a special action plan to prevent and control the serious crimes like rape and VAW,” a MoHA source said.

Similarly, the MoHA has underscored the need to conduct nationwide awareness-raising and awakening programmes to combat the incidents of rape by focusing on parents/guardians and children.

Stating that any attempt to settle rape cases by forcing the victims or their kin into signing a reconciliation paper would also be considered a criminal offence, Thapa directed IGP Khanal to initiate legal action against any police official involved in such unethical and unlawful activities, if any.

He also directed Khanal to entertain FIR against any suspect of rape and VAW and conduct investigation without negligence to ensure that justice is done to the victims and perpetrators are brought to book. A total of 1,480 rape cases had been registered in 2017-18 against 1,131 in 2016-17, according to statistics released by Nepal Police.

Meanwhile, the MoHA is set to launch a nationwide campaign against drug abuse and unregulated sale and distribution of liquor as they were contributing to rape and VAW. It said ‘Anti-drugs and Alcohol Control Campaign’ would be launched within a few days. The MoHA has prepared a proposal on these issues for approval by the Council of Ministers.

“If the proposal is passed by the Cabinet, the campaign will be announced by mid-September,” the source informed.  The campaign aims to focus on action against drug smuggling and addiction, and illegal moon-shining and bootlegging of alcohol.

“Growing misuse of Internet has also given a rise to rape cases and hence the MoHA has even started a discussion on its regulation,” he informed.