Cops suspended in one among a series of rape cases, people raging against rape
KATHMANDU: Police officers who were charged for trying to settle a rape case between the victims and the perpetrators in Itahari district have been suspended.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, on recommendation of the Nepal Police Headquarters, suspended Superintendent of Police (SP) Bidyananda Majhi and Inspector Chiranjeevi Dahal for mediating a reconciliation between the parties, and not conducting investigations into the case.
A minor was raped by her alleged boyfriend Jokam Limbu and his friend Manish Shrestha on December 31.
Prior to the suspension, SP Majhi was interrogated by an investigation committee for his alleged involvement in settling the gang rape case.
The Home Ministry upon recommendation of the police headquarters had previously taken similar action against Inspector Laxman Thakuri of Durbarmarg Metropolitan Police Circle in a case of similar nature.
Rising reports of rape
There has not been a day devoid of reports on rape or sexual assault of some form in the media, in the past few weeks.
Recently, people have witnessed a surge in the number of reported rape cases from all over the country. The two recent gang rape cases in the capital - Godamchaur-Ka case and The Landmark Hotel case - have paved way for many such cases to find space in the media.
According to one news, as many as 60 cases of rape were reported in the past five months (mid-July to mid-January) of the running fiscal as compared to 70 during the corresponding period last fiscal. It shows only a slight decrease in rape cases, which does not reduce the danger or threat faced by women and girls every day. The Valley witnessed 156 rape cases in 2016-17 compared to 135 in 2015-16.
Meanwhile, many people have taken to social media in a bid to raise awareness about rape, to be able to talk about sexual assaults freely, to condemn such heinous crimes, and to 'ask' the state to ensure peoples' right, especially women's in this case, to security through better legal policies and execution.
Social media users are now persistently talking about the rampant increase in reported cases of rape, victims escaping justice, using hashtags such as #RageAgainstRape #RiseAgainstRape, so that these incidents do not fade away, like they usually would, in a matter of days.
In a predominantly conservative society, this campaign, albeit limited to a specific social media perimetre for now, has triggered a series of debates which will facilitate interactions on such 'taboo' topics, help victims overcome fear of stigmatisation and perhaps bring forward many cases which would have otherwise slipped into oblivion.
This campaign is being acknowledged as a forum of non-affiliated and spontaneous citizens lending their time and resources to the cause of fighting violence against women, in their personal and professional spaces.
While there has also been backlash from a few people raising untoward questions against the sentiment of the campaign, a large quarter of social media users have shown solidarity toward this 'movement'.
The campaign looks to expand from the confines of social media and into a nation wide platform in due course of time.