JUMLA, Dec 6: Few weeks ago, police arrested Laxiram Rokaya of Chandannath Municipality-8, accusing him of raping a thirteen-year-old girl, who lived next door. Rokaya was caught red-handed by the locals while he was raping the minor at his own home. He had reportedly carried the victim to his home while she was asleep.
Inspector Prakash KC at the District Police Office (DPO), Jumla, informed Republica that the perpetrator often tempted the girl by offering noodles, biscuits and other food items from his shop.
"The victim's family has already filed a complaint against the perpetrator and he is currently in custody," said Inspector KC. As per the locals, the family of the victim and the accused shared a good bonding, as they were neighbors.
Meanwhile, a minor of Patarasi Rural Municipality-2 was raped on November 4. Following the statement given by the victim, police arrested Bhair Sarki, 45, of the same ward. Likewise, two other women in Tila-4 were gang raped the same day while returning home after collecting fodder. Complaints have been lodged against all four suspects of the incident. However, they are at large at the moment.
Since making public such incidents defame the prestige of the victims and their family, they have no option other than accepting the money to settle the issue.
Earlier, on October 18, a woman of Tatopani Rural Municipality-2 was raped. Police arrested Bhakta Sarki, 26, of Tatopani-3. In last one year, nine rape cases have been reported in Jumla alone. According to locals, it is very disappointing to see perpetrators roaming free and victims hiding. Some demand that the culprits must be hanged to death.
There are many rape cases, which are settled within the villages due to various reasons. The perpetrators often try settle the cases by tempting the victims with money. Since making public such incidents defame the prestige of the victims and their family, they have no option other than accepting the money to settle the issue.
Admitting the fact that most rape cases are not reported to police, DSP Sitaram Rijal of DPO, Jumla said, "We have urged the locals not to exchange a woman's dignity with money." Lack of proper place for medical test of the victims is another problem.
"Expert doctors try to ignore such cases by stating that the new gazette has not given them the right to examine rape victims," said Rijal, adding, "The victims are obliged to go to Kalikot for test, which might result in destruction of the evidence of rape."
Women rights activist and media person Dilmaya Shahi stressed that rapists must be subjected to stern punishment. "Lack of awareness among the locals, hesitation of women, weak government are the reasons why cases of rape are increasing day by day," she said. She says all three levels of the government must form strict rules and policies for women's safety.