KATHMANDU, June 29: On the evening of June 20, a few locals of Satdobato, Lalitpur witnessed a shocking incident which left them bewildered. No one had imagined that a street brawl between some girls would end in a stabbing. A girl of 18 was beaten up brutally by a group of eight other girls and stabbed.
Metropolitan Police Circle (MPC), Satdobato immediately rounded up five of the girls while they were trying to catch a bus. Three others are still at large. The incident took place around 5:30 p.m., according to MPC.
Salina Rai Sunuwar, 17, of Okhaldhunga who currently lives in Shantinagar; Rajina Rai, 17, also of Okhaldhunga and currently living in Boudha ; Suman Rai ,27, of Sunsari who currently lives in Boudha; Lila Magar of Nuwakot and Kamana Rai of Sunsari, both 17 and currently living at Balkhu, have been taken into custody for attacking Kopila Giri, 18, of Banepa.
According to MPC, most of the girls are from poor families and work as waitresses in restaurants and party palaces. Giri, who sustained serious injuries to the head, leg and hand, was rushed to Sumeru Hospital by a friend.
The girls did not know in person those in the opposing group and the fight was reportedly the result of a number of vulgar comments, trolls and chats on Facebook. They often shared and posted vulgar chats, comments and status on Facebook, instigating each other to come for a fight. According to MPC, both groups had dared each other several times earlier also to come and fight it out. “Previously, the groups had arranged two fights, one at Banepa and the other at Bhaktapur. However, they were foiled by the presence of police,” said DSP Rameshwar Yadav. Surprisingly, Giri was not involved in either of the previous face-offs.
According to DSP Yadav, these kinds of incidents are very common in the case of boys but very rare with girls. “This is not the first time but such cases are rarely registered with the police,” he said.
As per the statement of the girls now in police custody, Giri's group was the one to invite the others for a gang fight at Hattiban. “They were the ones to call up and tell us to come to Hattiban forest for a fight and we knew that they were there with weapons and could do anything to us. So, we called them to Satdobato instead,” said Sunuwar, who has been accused of stabbing Giri with a knife. Giri had reached there by scooter to check out the strength of Sunuwar's gang while the rest of her friends waited at Hattiban. “Her quarrel was actually with Astha Rai who is in our group and I really had no problem with her, but she kept bad-mouthing me for no reason and even pushed me. So I used my knife,” said Sunuwar.
The girls voiced dismay over some newspapers and social media carrying their pictures and making them go viral. “Why is everyone trying to portray the fight as though it was our fault alone. If they were so innocent they would not have come here from so far,” said Rajina Rai.
Meanwhile, Giri's family is not ready to except that the incident as merely a fight over Facebook postings. Giri had reached Kathmandu to check out a college for a cousin who recently passed the SEE, according to family members. She had a war of words on Facebook when Astha Rai of the opposing group posted a picture of her friend Lajna Nakarmi making a vulgar comment on her appearance. “I was with friends and my sister when they called my friends to Satbato for a fight, and I thought I would go there and persuade them not to fight,” Giri said. “I had bad-mouthed one of them and she attacked me with a knife while the others all jumped on me, " she said adding she didn't remember the rest. Family members have filed a case of attempted murder against the perpetrators.
DSP Yadav informed that police are trying to find out more about the affair. “We will first try to nab those still at large,” he said.