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NEPAL: An eleven year old girl raped and banished from the village after found to be pregnant

2017-07-21

Urgent Appeal

Dear Friends,

The Jagaran Media Center (JMC) has received information that a girl (11) of Yaku Arun village development committee (VDC) 5 in Bhojpur District was raped in December 2016. While cooking a meal at home, her neighbor Durga Bahadur Shrestha (20) took advantage of the situation and sexually assaulted her. During the assault, she was alone. Her parents were out. Her 3-year-old brother had gone outside to play. Instead of helping the girl to get justice, the villagers banished her.

CASE DETAILS: 

The girl (name withheld) was alone at home, cooking, when the assailant covered her mouth and raped her. Durga Bahadur threatened to beat the girl and kill her mother is she told anyone about the incident. The girl is too young to realize that she was being subjected to a sexual assault at that moment. She just had her first period earlier that month.

In June 2017, when the girl and her mother were preparing to go to bed, the mother saw that her daughter had a swollen abdomen. When the mother asked about this, she disclosed the incident. The following day, her mother took her to the nearby health facility. On examination, she was found to be seven-months pregnant. 

A village meeting was called where families of both the man and the girl were summoned. Durga Bahadur admitted to the crime. But his family refused to accept the Dalit girl because she was born to an unacceptable Newar father and a Dalit mother.

On 30 June 2017, the girl was banished from the village. They threatened the girl’s family with ostracisation from society if they kept their daughter at home. 

The accused, with the villager’s approval took the girl to Dharan on 30 June 2017. After three days, Durga Bahadur disappeared. When he did not return, the girl escaped. A woman helped her get in touch with her maternal Uncle and Aunt in Dharan. However, she could not muster the courage to return home. The uncle and aunt then approached the District Women’s and Children’s Office. 

On July 18, her uncle and aunt brought the girl to the District Headquarters as per the advice from the Women and Children’s Officer, Pushpalata Upreti. The Organization had discussed this incident with the Police and recommended action against the culprit. The District Police Office registered the complaint and arrested Durga Bahadur in Dharan.

The JMC recommends the Police and the Government to do the right thing. Due to fears for her safety, the girl has been re-located to the District Headquarters. The Village Council, instead of helping the girl get justice, banished her. They must be brought under the domain of justice, too. As the girl’s mother is a Dalit, not only the boy’s family but the entire village banished her. They must be held accountable through the Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability (Crime and Punishment) Act 2011 and Under the Civil Code Act, 2020  section (10). The girl, who has become physically and mentally fragile, urgently needs timely, appropriate treatment and counseling. 

SUGGESTED ACTION

Please write letters to the following Authorities calling on them to take the necessary action against the people involved in this incident. The Police should attend to this situation as soon as possible. They must provide security to counteract the threats made to the victim and her family.

 



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SAMPLE LETTER:
Dear __________,

NEPAL: An eleven year old girl raped and banished from the village after found to be pregnant

Name Of Victim: Padma (Name Changed)

Names of alleged perpetrators: Durga Bahadur Shrestha

Date of incident: 0000-00-00

Place of incident: Yaku Arun village development committee (VDC) 5 in Bhojpur

I am writing to voice my deep concern as I came to know that a girl (11) of Yaku Arun village development committee (VDC) 5 in Bhojpur District was raped in December 2016.

The girl was alone at home, cooking, when the assailant covered her mouth and raped her. Durga Bahadur threatened to beat the girl and kill her mother is she told anyone about the incident. The girl is too young to realize that she was being subjected to a sexual assault at that moment. She just had her first period earlier that month.

In June 2017, when the girl and her mother were preparing to go to bed, the mother saw that her daughter had a swollen abdomen. When the mother asked about this, she disclosed the incident. The following day, her mother took her to the nearby health facility. On examination, she was found to be seven-months pregnant.

A village meeting was called where families of both the man and the girl were summoned. Durga Bahadur admitted to the crime. But his family refused to accept the Dalit girl because she was born to an unacceptable Newar father and a Dalit mother.

On 30 June 2017, the girl was banished from the village. They threatened the girl’s family with ostracisation from society if they kept their daughter at home.

The accused, with the villager’s approval took the girl to Dharan on 30 June 2017. After three days, Durga Bahadur disappeared. When he did not return, the girl escaped. A woman helped her get in touch with her maternal Uncle and Aunt in Dharan. However, she could not muster the courage to return home. The uncle and aunt then approached the District Women’s and Children’s Office.

On July 18, her uncle and aunt brought the girl to the District Headquarters as per the advice from the Women and Children’s Officer, Pushpalata Upreti. The Organization had discussed this incident with the Police and recommended action against the culprit. The District Police Office registered the complaint and arrested Durga Bahadur in Dharan.

I urge the Police and the Government to do the right thing. Due to fears for her safety, the girl has been re-located to the District Headquarters. The Village Council, instead of helping the girl get justice, banished her. They must be brought under the domain of justice, too. As the girl’s mother is a Dalit, not only the boy’s family but the entire village banished her. They must be held accountable through the Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability (Crime and Punishment) Act 2011 and Under the Civil Code Act, 2020  section (10). The girl, who has become physically and mentally fragile, urgently needs timely, appropriate treatment and counseling. 

I look forward to your prompt action in this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

Yours Sincerely,
------------------------------
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba

Prime Minister

Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers of Nepal

Singh Durbar, Kathmandu

P.O. Box: 23312

NEPAL

Tel: +977 1 4211000

Fax: +977 1 4211086

Email: info@opmcm.gov.np


2. Mr. Janardan Sharma

Home Minister of Nepal

Ministry of Home Affairs

Singh Durbar, Kathmandu

NEPAL

Fax: +977 1 421-1257, 421-1286

Email: gunaso@moha.gov.np


3. Mr. Anupraj Sharma

Chairperson

National Human Rights Commission

Pulchowk, Lalitpur

NEPAL

Fax: +977 1 55 47973

Tel: +977 1 5010015

E-mail: complaints@nhrcnepal.org or nhrc@nhrcnepal.org


4. Mr. Raman Kumar Shrestha

Attorney General

Office of Attorney General

Ramshah Path, Kathmandu

NEPAL

Tel: +977 1 4240210, +977 1 4262548, +977 1 4262394

Fax: +977 1 4262582 / 4218051

Email: info@attorneygeneral.gov.np


5. Mr. Prakash Aryal

Inspector General of Police

Police Head Quarters

Naxal, Kathmandu

NEPAL

Fax: +977 1 4415593

Tel: +977 1 4412432

Email: phqigs@nepalpolice.gov.np


6. Mr. Sitaram Ghale

Member Secretary

National Dalit Commission

Lalitpur, Nepal.

P.O. Box:13785, Kathmandu

Phone:+977-1-5531148

Fax:+977-1-5531148

Email:info@ndc.gov.np


Thank you.