Raped minor dies in Bir Hospital

Kathmandu, August 4

Women Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC) today demanded action against the culprit who raped a 14-year old girl in Lahan, Siraha, and forcefully fed her harpic (toilet cleaner) so that she would not be able reveal the incident to anyone.

Due to lack of proper treatment at the right time, she could not overcome the internal injuries caused by the ingestion of harpic and she died on August 2 while undergoing treatment at Bir Hospital despite having undergone surgeries and every other possible attempt to bring her back to normal condition.

According to WOREC, the girl from Maubahi-2, Siraha, had been working at Rakesh Hotel and Lodge at Lahan Municipality for a year. She used to clean dishes at the hotel.

On April 25, she was allegedly raped by Binod Basnet, a resident of Dhangadi-2, who worked as a cook at the same hotel. After the incident, the survivor was hidden for 37 days and was not allowed to get in touch with her mother.

The case was disclosed on June 10, when women human rights defenders of Siraha were informed about the incident by hospital authorities. Since the 35-day period is over,the incident was not registered by the police station as a rape case.

As a result, an attempt to murder case was filed and the victim was rushed to Dharan Hospital and then she was referred to Bir Hospital, Kathmandu, for treatment. Her treatment at Bir Hospital began from June 30, but all of a sudden, she died on August 2 at 8:00 pm when she was supposed to be discharged from hospital the next day.

Speaking at a press meet organised in the capital today by WOREC, Pratima Sharma, programme and management director of the organisation said that the 14-year old girl was very happy as her health condition was improving. She said, “The girl had asked for a wrist watch and a pair of pants. She had also asked to eat rice and mutton after getting discharged from hospital, but sadly she died without getting her wishes fulfilled.” According to Sharma, doctors involved in her treatment said her health condition deteriorated due to the effect of harpic and she died after vomiting blood.

Renu Karna, vice-president, of Mukti Nepal, Lahan, a non-government organisation working for women’s rights, who had first met the girl in the Lahan Hospital said she was in a very pathetic condition and she could not speak properly.

Karna said, “When the girl started vomiting, hotel authorities took her to private clinics but did treat her,” adding, “When her mother asked about her health, they told her she was vomiting because she had overeaten.”

She said the culprit did not let the girl see her relatives to reveal about the case till 35 days which is the time-limit for filing FIR against the alleged culprit to escape from getting legal charge on rape but after the death of the girl, FIR has been filed against Basnet for murder.

Human rights defenders, women human rights defenders and WOREC said they had received threats while trying to provide justice to the survivors. Leaders of political parties in the districts are also supporting the hotel proprietor so it was very difficult to give justice to victims. WOREC also demanded security and compensation to the family. Basnet has been arrested and kept in the police custody.