EDITORIAL: Very unprofessional

The girl’s death should also be thoroughly investigated before the body is handed over to her family

The way the police handled the heinous murder case in Siraha recently in which a girl had connived to kill a cousin to cover up an illicit relationship is something to mull over as the victims were teenagers. It is believed that Priyanka Yadav, 16, plotted to murder her cousin, Bhabesh Yadav, fearing that he would reveal her illicit relationship with one Sanjaya Yadav, 14, from the same locality. Bhadesh had found them in a compromising position while grazing cattle. Bhadesh had warned to tell others. As far as we know the identity of the offenders should not be revealed if they are teens and children involved. In this case, the police made public their names which they should not have done. What is tragic to note is that Priyanka committed suicide, that too, in the police custody, showing how fragile our law and order situation is in our country. The police involved should be punished for making public the names of the children.

Moreover, sex is still taboo in our society which needs to be addressed. Sex is something that should not be considered illegal if it is a consensual act. Besides, there are double standards regarding sex between males and females. Males engaging in extra-marital affairs are tolerated by society at large whereas it is not the same for women. Extra-marital sex is not taken as an offence in many countries and even permitted by law. Nepal could learn from this as thousands of Nepalis are migrant workers some of whom do not return home for years. Meanwhile, the concerned could do well to teach sex education in schools. This would prepare the children with information that they need to know. It is also tragic that many children undergo sexual abuse yet they do not tell their guardians as they are warned of facing dire consequences if they did so. These days many people are more open about sex. People who are infected with sexually transmitted diseases and HIV are coming into the open. This has led to a decline in the number of HIV patients in the country. Adolescents in particular are vulnerable to being affected and migrant workers are considered to be at high risk. This infection is seen in many sex workers. By providing information about safe sex many valuable lives could be saved.

Meanwhile, taking cue from what transpired in Siraha we need to be more farsighted and look into the future. It was highly unprofessional for the police to reveal names of the teenage perpetrators although they stand guilty of having committed a serious crime. They should know better than to parade them around so that media cover the event. Local police have claimed that the accused girl killed herself “due to guilt for killing her cousin”. How can police come to the conclusion that the teenage girl committed suicide without making proper investigation? And, the Mirchaiya police office where the girl committed suicide should be held responsible for such a negligence in handling the murder case as well as the death of the accused in police custody. The girl’s death should also be thoroughly investigated before the body is handed over to her family. The police must explain why she committed suicide in  custody, not through speculation but with proof.

Controlling stroke

The World Stroke Day is observed every year on October 29. On this occasion, doctors have advised people to regularly check their blood pressure to prevent strokes. According to the World Health Organisation around 15 million people suffer from stroke annually; five million of them die and another five million are left permanently disabled. In Nepal, 1,114 people suffered from stroke in 2016/17. Although the country does not have nationwide statistics about the people suffering from strokes, neurologists say that high blood pressure is the main cause of stroke.

A stroke is a brain attack. It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. Those with cardiovascular disease are prone to stroke. Regular consumption of junk food, busy and stressful lifestyle and lack of regular exercise are other

causes of strokes. Apart from keeping the blood pressure normal through regular checkup, doctors have also advised people to lead active life and do regular exercises which help maintain flow of blood all over the body. One must change a sedentary and stressful life.