NEPAL: A fifteen year old gang rape victim deserves protection and justice

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the gang rape of a fifteen year old school girl on 26 March 2013, in her house of Methinkot VDC-8, Kavrepalanchowk. The victim and her father were threatened that they would be killed by the perpetrators who identified themselves as Maoists, should they talk to anyone about the rape. A complaint has been filed in the police station and the victim has been taken to the hospital for forensic examination but none of the perpetrators have so far been identified or arrested. A fact finding mission lead by several civil society organizations found that the police investigation failed to collect key evidence in the case. Cases of gender-specific forms of violence too often go unpunished in Nepal depriving women of the protection of the law.


According to the information we have received from CVICT Nepal, on 26th March, 2013 at around 7:20 P.M. to 7:45 P.M., Priti (name changed) was having dinner with her father during the time of load shedding when a man they did not know entered their house without asking for their permission. He asked water to drink. Priti and her father were afraid at seeing him entering the house in this manner. Priti handed him a mug of water. Then six other persons had entered the house one of whom was a woman. They were armed with a kukri (knife) and sticks and asked the family where their money was. They threatened that they would kill them if they made a noise, while doing so they chopped a mug into pieces and stabbed the kitchen table with the knife. Out of fear Priti and her father complied with the intruder's demands and answered their questions. Then they tied the father to a chair.

Priti had told them that they had no other family members in the house. The intruders replied that there was supposed to be another married woman in the house and examined her neck to see whether she was wearing a necklace typical of married women. The intruders searched the house for money and the married woman they had inquired about. While the other were busy searching the house, one of them grabbed Priti and dragged her upstairs to her father's bedroom, threatening her to remain quiet. There three men held her arms and legs to ensure she could not move while the man who had brought her upstairs raped her. Then the three other men present in the room took turns to rape her as well.

At some point Priti lost consciousness and the rapists left her to continue looking for money. They stole around NRs 2400 from a box which was in the room. They took a further NRs.3400 from her father's pocket, a watch worth Rs. 1000 and two cell phones. In total they looted about NRs.15,900 worth of money and goods.

Before they left, they told the victims that they were Maoists, that would be visiting the family again and that the father should make sure to have Rs. 200,000 ready for them to collect. The perpetrators further threaten the father that they would be watching them from outside and that they should sleep without making a noise. Before they left they also threatened that they would kill them if they tried to call anyone or to complain about the incident. They left leaving the father tied and gagged to prevent him from calling for help.

After some time around 8:30 to 9 o'clock, the victim's youngest uncle came to her house. He untied Priti's father who waved his hand in direction of his bedroom. The uncle immediately rushed upstairs and saw that Priti was lying on the bed naked and unconscious. He wrapped her with the blankets and gave her water to drink. She woke up after 2 hours.

The uncle called the VDC neighbours. They had a long discussion and came to the conclusion that this was not a crime to be kept secret and that it should be made public. They decided to complain to the police, as they were worried that others may be victimized in the same manner. With the consent of the victim, they decided unanimously to complain about the incident and the next day early in the morning at 5 am on 27th March, 2013 they went to the local police station to report the crime. The police immediately went to the place of incident to collect evidence.

The police also took Priti to the District Police Office, Dhulikel for a health checkup and to take her statement. Her uncle filed a First Information Report on 3rd April at DPO, Dhulikel. She was kept in a Safe House in Dhulikhel for some days. She was also taken to the Teaching Hospital, Maharjgunj, Nepal for a forensic examination. The report could not be accessed as the investigation is under way, but the doctors have reported that their findings concluded that rape had happened.

Furthermore, with the support of INSEC, the victim along with the father was referred to CVICT for counseling, medical treatment and legal counseling. As of April 13, no perpetrators has been identified or arrested.

A fact finding team composed of the civil society organization CVICT, CWISH, WOREC and INSEC visited the place of the incident. They found that the investigation process lacked effectiveness. The team found that the bed sheet with spot of blood remained untouched by the police although it could be collected and sent to a lab for examination. Other objects left behind by the perpetrators, such as a stick, had also not been collected by the police.

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