KATHMANDU, June 15: According to the National Women’s Commission, Shiva Raj Shrestha, the accused of raping 19 years old single mother Niharika Rajput, who is on a hunger strike at Basantapur for the past five days, will undergo a DNA test to know if his DNA matches with that of Rajput’s son.
The chairperson of Women’s Commission, Kamala Parajuli said that she met the alleged rape victim Rapjut on Tuesday and the process to appeal to the court for the DNA test of the accused has been proceeded. “We are in the process of writing a petition for DNA testing. We will appeal to the court to resolve this issue promptly,” she said.
Niharika claimed that Shivaraj Shrestha of Janakpur drugged and raped her at her friend’s house. As a result, she got pregnant and became a single mother of her child. She has been complaining about her struggle for justice even after seeking help from the women's commission and court since her pregnancy that compelled her to go for a hunger strike.
She has said that the strike will continue unless she gets justice along with her five-point demands fulfilled. Currently, she is on a fast-unto-death in the capital’s Basantapur with her 21 months old son. Her five-point demand includes ‘arresting the criminal who is roaming freely’ and investigating him, testing the DNA of accused Shrestha to see if it matches with that of her son, prompt decision by the high court on the case that was reported four months ago, a re-investigation of the entire incident, and ensuring care and safety of her 21 months old son.
It has been stated that following the commission’s commitment, activist Jasmine Ojha and Dev Sharma who were on hunger-strike with Niharika broke their strike on Tuesday evening and will now support Niharika on the judicial procedure.
Jasmine Ojha had been fasting with Rajput in solidarity for five days. After breaking her hunger-strike, she informed Republica that she would consult with all the helping hands to move forward so that Rajput gets justice.
Even after the commission’s commitment, Rajput continues her hunger-strike. “In this country, one has to die in order to get justice,” she said. She complains that she was abandoned by her own family and society after the incident.
The incident dates back to October 2019. She gave birth to her son on 21 August 2020. She filed a report against the alleged rapist Shivaraj Shrestha of Chhireshwor Municipality-3, 4 months after the incident. But the district court acquitted Shrestha, forcing Rajput to knock on the doors of the high court.
According to Rajput, she was born on 19 February 2003. However, the date of birth mentioned in her citizenship is 3 July 1999. The court ruled that she was not a minor during the incident. “The judiciary has been weakening the case since the beginning; hence, a re-investigation needs to be carried out and action should be taken against Shrestha,” said Rajput.