DHANGADHI, July 7: Maya BK, 21, a girl from the underprivileged Dalit community, grew up fighting with social discrimination and injustice. Despite battling with social barriers and financial strain, she always had her head held high.
However, she did not know that her self-esteem and sense of dignity will one day lead to her death. Maya worked as a social mobilizer in Gauriganga Municipality. Ever since she started working there, her co-worker Ganesh Baduwal had his eagle eye on her.
On June 22, he asked her to have a sexual intercourse with him. Maya refused his proposal. As per the statement given by Baduwal to the police, she refused to have sex with him saying that he was “a married man and that too from a high caste family.”
On June 26, he made the same proposal again and Maya declined this time too. But this time, Baduwal made up his mind to have sex with her no matter what. He planned to rape Maya with four of his friends. On June 27, Maya was on the way to her office on a bicycle but could not reach there.
Raped till death
It was around 9:30 am when Baduwal and his friends caught Maya on the way and took her to a jungle. They gagged her with a shawl and tied her hands behind with a rope. She was unable to speak. Then they took off her clothes and raped her. As she was gagged, she could not breathe and lost her life.
According to Binod Ghimire, Police Inspector of Kailali, the perpetrators had tried to make it look like a suicide by tying the shawl around her neck. Reportedly, Maya had died after three of the boys raped her.
As Maya didn’t return home that day, her family members filed a missing report with the police. Though some people kept saying she must have gone to one of her relatives, her family members were not ready to accept that. Later, on June 29, her dead body was recovered from the jungle of Chapathali Community Forest in ward 11 of Gauriganga.
Police prepared a list of suspects as per the complaint filed at the Area Police Office. Police arrested all in the list and started the investigation and after a week were successful in identifying the ‘culprits’. The mastermind behind the incident Ganesh Baduwal, 30, along with Manoj Bogati, 27, Suraj Chaudhary, 21, Bhuwan Khati, 20, and Tapendra Bogati, 19, were arrested.
A police team led by Hari Oli, a sub-inspector of the District Police Office, started the investigation after the postmortem reports came on June 30. The perpetrators will be punished as per the Civil Code (Muluki Ain). All of them will be sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder, five to seven years in jail for rape and an additional five years for orchestrating the crime in group, according to Inspector Ghimire.