Kathmandu, January 11
Two cases of rape were reported in Kathmandu valley yesterday, said police. One of the rape victims was a minor.
Acting on a complaint, police arrested Ranjit Thami, 43, for allegedly raping a woman in his rented room at Dharmasthali, Tarkeshwor Municipality. Thami lured the woman into his rented room and raped her. He has been kept in the custody of Maharajgunj-based Metropolitan Police Circle for legal action.
Similarly, Rupak Shrestha, 26, of Bhaktapur was arrested for raping a 16-year-old girl in Nagarkot, Changunarayan Municipality, Bhaktapur.
The girl lodged a complaint with Bhaktapur-based Metropolitan Police Range, saying she was raped by Shrestha. Police said he issued threats to the victim and committed the crime.
The number of women and girls filing rape cases with police has increased by more than 50 per cent in fiscal 2018-19.
Police said more girls and women had started coming forward to file rape cases with the law enforcement agency due to greater awareness among women and girls. As many as 2,233 cases of rape were reported in the fiscal 2018-19, which is significantly higher than 1,480 cases reported in the previous fiscal.
Despite the rising number of rape victims coming forward with complaints, many cases go unreported as women and girls hide the cases due to the social stigma attached to rape and the administrative hurdles they have to face while filing complaint.
Most of the rape victims are minors between five and 16 years of age. According to a report of the National Human Rights Commission, security personnel were involved in reconciling the victims with perpetrators in some cases. Most of the recorded incidents of rape have been perpetrated by members of the same family and close relatives.
Failure of Nepal Police to bring to book the perpetrators by conducting prompt and effective criminal investigation further poses a threat to the life of the victim and gives rise to impunity.
Various complaints received by the NHRC show that rape victims have also been deprived of legal aid, medical treatment and protection.
A version of this article appears in print on January 12, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.