SURKHET, August 23: A video purportedly of Karnali Province Minister for Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives Kurmaraj Shahi raping a woman has gone viral in social media platforms. A few days ago, the victim and her husband went to the District Police Office, Surkhet to lodge a rape complaint against Shahi.
"A woman and her husband came to the police station claiming that she had been raped. They also showed the video," said a police investigation officer. “As the deadline for registering the case has expired, we have suggested discussing the case with legal practitioners.”
In the video, the victim is seen inside the room. There is a knock on the door from outside. The woman opens the door. As soon as he enters the bed, Minister Shahi hugs her. Then the woman is seen crying. The minister is seen trying to console the lady.
The victim, who came in contact with the police, said that the video was of January 2020. At that time, Shahi was a member of the Provincial Assembly. It is speculated that the victim had 'bargained for money' with the current minister Shahi as the incident reached the police. It is suspected that they reached out to the police after disagreement over the amount.
The husband of the victim was beaten at Bheri Bridge at midnight on Friday. According to the victim, her husband was taken away by his personal secretary Prem Budha in a vehicle at around 9 PM.
They reached Chinchu Bazaar and had a discussion at a hotel. They had returned to Birendranagar after the issue of transaction was not settled there. On the way back to Birendranagar, Budha and Minister Shahi's brother had assaulted the victim's husband at around 12:30 PM. Police had rescued the person around 1:30 PM.
The next day, the assault victim lodged a complaint for a wound investigation case. "The minister's personal secretary Prem Budha had called to say that there was a meeting at around 9 PM. He left after that," said the female victim. She, however, did not want to comment on the rape incident. "My husband knows everything. Help me find him first," she said. "We are victims. We need justice."
She said that she had not eaten since her husband lost contact with her. "I know that he was taken by the minister's personal secretary and the police rescued him from Bheri Bridge in the middle of the night," she said. “After that there is no contact between us.” She said that she would not speak anything regarding the rape case unless her husband is found.
According to Nanda Krishna Adhikari, an employee of the secretariat who claims that he is a press advisor to Minister Shahi, the woman's husband was the minister’s personal secretary when he was member of the Provincial Assembly. "After he became minister, he was removed from the secretariat," the official said. "Only then did the incident come to light." The allegation was made after he was removed from the secretariat.