KATHMANDU, Sept 3: A group of artists protested against the rape and murder of the 13-year-old Nirmala Panta at Maitighar Mandala on Tuesday. According to the police report, Nirmala, a resident of Kanchanpur, was brutally raped and eventually murdered. Several nation-wide protests are being organized demanding for justice to Nirmala. The peaceful protest, where some of the renowned artists and cartoonists had gathered up with their major tools from their arsenal -- canvas and brush, displayed a different kind of art forms creating objection against the increasing rape cases. Later that evening, candles were lit at the Maitighar in memory of late Nirmala.
According to Asmina Ranjit, a distinguished artist, “Be it women empowerment, gender equality or the issue of rape alleviation, we have been creating awareness using what we have. Although, we've been conducting similar events lots of times, this time it has been able to grab the attention of a large number of media.”
Citing the increase in rape cases at recent times, the artists came out to the streets to pressurize the administration to identify the real culprit and punish them as soon as possible.
“As per the report of Prasuti Griha, five to 10 girl children are admitted as a result of rape. This is horrifying and it demands change. The main reason why the cartoonists and artists are gathered together today is to raise our voices with our canvas and brushes. Our protest is really peaceful, but our demands are loud.”
This protest was not only for Nirmala but for the hundreds of such Nirmalas waiting for the justice. Every day, there are at least five headlines regarding rape cases in leading journals. People leading the various protests seem to accuse the authorities of negligence and have been advocating in an attempt to create a safe and secure environment for girls and women in the country.