Into the third day of protests, police and local residents engaged in a brief clash on Thursday when hundreds of demonstrators rallied against the government in front of the District Administration Office. Police charged with batons as the crowd chanted slogans and disrupted vehicular movement.
At least 10 people on both sides sustained injuries in the clash. They were taken to Kalaiya Hospital for treatment. Women rights activist Babita Jaiswal’s hand was fractured. Local businessmen downed shutters when police started charging at the protesters.
“We retaliated after a group of protesters attacked female security personnel with broom,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Rabindra Regmi.
Hundreds of women with clay pots and brooms, in coordination with the ‘Beti Bachau’ (save our daughters) Struggle Committee, have been staging a sit-in at Bharat Chowk for three days, along with the body of the seven-year-old rape victim . They have demanded prompt action against the guilty, compensation for the victim’s family and security of women and children.
Kidnapped and raped on February 20, the minor, who was found at a dumping site at the back of the Chandra Secondary School the next day, breathed her last on Sunday at Kanti Children’s Hospital in Kathmandu after battling for life for 17 days.
The struggle committee has put forth seven demands that include detailed probe into rape and murder of children in the district in the past year and capital punishment for rapists.
“The government takes such incidents happening in the Capital seriously but remains indifferent to similar cases from the outside,” said Pramod Gupta, former lawmaker who coordinates the struggle committee. Gupta said he had received assurances from the prime minister and the home minister to take up the issue during the Cabinet meeting on Sunday.
While the committee urges everyone to unite for the cause, their protest has drawn flak from many who say they should not have used the body during the demonstration: it should have been cremated first. “Protests are necessary but they should come after the final rites are performed,” said a local.
Woman raped by uncle: Police
PARSA: A 30-year-old woman with Down’s syndrome was raped by her own uncle at Subarnapur-6 in Parsa on Wednesday afternoon.
Police arrested the 48-year-old who had fled the scene after the incident as he returned home at night. Police took her to Narayani Sub-zonal Hospital for medical examination immediately after they were informed about the incident. Police said the man had confessed to the crime and would be brought to justice as per the medical report. Meanwhile, District Court Makwanpur gave police five more days to probe a case of sexual harassment involving Dinesh Subedi, a teacher at Seti Ganesh Lower Secondary School at Thaha Municipality-7. He was held on the charge of sexually harassing a 10-year-old girl on Wednesday.