JHAPA, Jan 1: Sexual violence against young girls has become a widespread problem in Jhapa in recent years. However, it is little discussed. The number of girls being raped, harassed and assaulted has increased significantly.
There was a time when girls of rural villages used to be tempted and involved in sexual crimes. But in recent days even the girls from well-off families are victims of such crimes. Police investigation says the misuse of social media has raised further concerns about the safety of girls. As per the details provided by the District Police Office (DPO), Jhapa, as many 17 girls below 16 years of age became the victim of social crimes in 2017. Surprisingly, 10 of them were below 10 years.
Similarly, 10 more girls above 16 years of age were abused at different times. As per the details, altogether 27 women and young girls were raped in 2017 alone. "These days the crimes related to sexual violence are not bounded by place, class or race," said Bishnu Kumar KC, chief of the DPO. According to him, access to social media has lured youths towards pornography which in turn is giving rise to sexual crimes.
It might be hard for people to believe but most of the victims have been abused by their close relatives. Some of them are teachers and even fathers of the victims.
The parents of a seven years old girl of Birtamod Municipality-4 were shocked upon knowing that their little daughter was forcefully involved in a sexual act by her teacher. This incident occurred on August 10. As always the couple was in a rush to office. Their little daughter who had gone for tuition classes at her teacher's home didn't return on time. So, they reached the teacher's home to bring her where they found that their child was a victim of sexual violence. "The girl was given threats and warnings not to reveal the truth to anyone," said human rights activist Arjun Basnet. Now, the teacher is behind the bars.
Last September, a father was arrested for raping his thirteen-year-old daughter. Likewise, on June 22, a 70 years old person in Arjundhara Municipality-7 was sent to prison for brutally raping a seven years old girl. "There have been instances where girls have been unsafe in their own families," said Basnet.
On Thursday, a similar incident occurred in the district. Two persons were arrested for allegedly assaulting and looting a woman of Ilam in the tea garden of Birtamod. One more person involved in the incident is currently at large. Krsihna Prasad Koirala, DSP of Birtamod, said that three men holding Khukuri took control of the women and told her to take off her clothes and also clicked photos and made a video of her. The accused have been identified as Bijay Bahadur Magar and Nabin Dangi of Arjundhara Municipality-9.