Discrimination in compensation for rape victims

September 21, 2018 03:30 AM DIL BAHADUR CHHATYAL


DHANGADHI, Sept 21: The local unit, as well as the provincial and federal governments, decided to provide compensation to the family of 13-year-old Nirmala Pant, who was raped and murdered around two months ago in Bhimdatta Municipality of Kanchanpur.

After protests demanding justice for Nirmala intensified, the federal government announced compensation of Rs 1 million for the victim's family. Prior to this incident, there is no record of the government providing compensation to the family of the victims of rape and subsequent murder.

Maya BK of Gariganga Municipality-11 had met the same fate as Nirmala, but much earlier. Hailing from a backward Dalit community, she had passed her school leaving certificate after her mother decided to support her studies by working abroad. Maya, then 21, managed to get selected for a job as a social mobilizer of the municipality after passing SLC. Within a week of starting the job, she was raped and murdered in a cruel way. Her hands were tied in the back and there was a thick cloth inside her mouth. Her lifeless body was found naked in a nearby community forest.

Those involved in the rape and murder were Maya's colleague Ganesh Baduwal, 30, Bhuwan Khati, 20, Suraj Chaudhary, 21, Manoj Bogati, 27, and Tapendra Bogati, 19. On the morning of July 28, they took her to the forest and raped her, one by one. She died while being raped. In Nirmala's case, the federal government announced compensation of Rs 1 million to her family. Following suit, the provincial government announced compensation of 500,000 while Bhimdatta Municipality also decided to provide Rs 300,000 to the bereaved family. But none of these institutions have made such announcements for the surviving family of Maya.

Likewise, 17-year old Kabita Bista of Kanchanpur was also a victim of rape and subsequent murder. Her body was found in a grueling state in the forest of Krishnapur Municipality-2 last August 11. Yet, her surviving family is shunned from compensation just like in the case of Maya. Family members of the victims have accused the government of exercising discriminatory compensation practices.“Although the nature of the crime is the same, the government's discriminatory behavior regarding compensation has caused me further pain,” said Kabita's father Karan Bista. “Although the government is supposed to treat every citizen equally, this type of discrimination is injustice,” he added.                                    

Maya's mother Deusara also shared the same sentiment. “I am a poor woman and I used all my hard-earned money in the education of my daughter. But she was raped and murdered. Due to my poverty, there is no one to speak for me despite clear discrimination from the government,” she said.

 


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