NEPAL: Alleged rape of 12-year-old girl by a policeman in Mohatari district
December 6, 2006
URGENT APPEAL GENERAL URGENT APPEAL GENERAL URGENT APPEAL GENERAL
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
6 December 2006
UA-390-2006: NEPAL: Alleged rape of 12-year-old girl by a policeman in Mohatari district
NEPAL: Rape of a minor; failure of proper investigation; impunity; un-rule of law
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from its partner, Advocacy Forum, a local human rights organization in Nepal, regarding the alleged rape of 12-year-old girl by a senior Police Constable in the Mohatari district of Nepal on the 18 November 2006. The alleged perpetrator is currently being detained by the District Police Office (DPO) of Mohatari for further investigations, but there is a valid and serious concern about the level of objectivity and impartiality of police investigations into this particular case. We have been informed that the DPO has refused to release the findings of the medical examination of the victim to concerned persons, namely the victim's parents. Furthermore, it has been brought to our attention that a police inspector has allegedly undermined the legitimacy of the ongoing investigations by alleging that the 12 year-old victim was having a romantic affair with the accused; charges of which there is absolutely no evidence. We call for your urgent intervention into this case so that proper and thorough investigations may be conducted, and that the perpetrator is tried and prosecuted within a Court-of-law.
A 12-year-old girl Alisha (name changed to safeguard the victim's privacy), a local resident of the Gausala Village Development Committee-2 in the Mohatari district was reportedly raped by Mr. Manoj Chaudhary, a 27-year-old senior-ranking Police Constable stationed at the Gausala Security Base Camp in the Mohatari district, at her home at around 8:30pm on the 18 November 2006. At that time, the victim was alone at home while her parents and siblings were at a nearby hotel which her Parents co-own and manage. The hotel is also located nearby the Gausala Security Base Camp. According to the victim, the accused raped her after covering her mouth with her clothes so that her cries for help could not be heard.
Soon after the incident, the victim's parents returned home to find their grief-stricken daughter. They also spotted the accused quietly leaving the house, but managed to identify him. Mr. Chaudhary managed to escape from the scene and reached the security base camp. The security personnel composed of the police, armed police forces and the army is stationed in the security base camp.
The victim's parents immediately went to the security base camp and reported the incident to Police Inspector Bimal Sharma, Inspector of Armed Police Force Kishor Shrestha and Army Lieutenant Min Bahadur Thapa. However, they hotly denied that Mr. Chaudhary or any of their personnel had been allowed to leave the camp.
After a while, the accused turned up in different clothes. The victims parents caught him, and accompanied by police personnel, took him to their home to find out what happened to their daughter. Confronted with her rapist, the victim bravely described the details of her ordeal. The police personnel then assaulted the accused and took him back to the security base camp.
The victim's parents then lodged a First Information Report against Mr. Chaudhary, with the District Police Office of Mohatari on the charges of rape; however the police authorities refused to register the complaint. The complaint was later registered by the DPO authorities due to mounting external and media pressure.
On the 19 November, the victim's parents took their young daughter to the Mohatari District Hospital for a medical examination, to determine whether or not she had been raped. The DPO authorities however, declared the examination findings nullenvoid and refused to release the findings to the victims Parents.
Furthermore, Police Inspector Kishor Shrestha alleged that the victim was having a romantic affair with the accused, and claimed that he possessed several love letters that were exchanged between them. However, he refused to provide the letters as evidence, and at this stage, there is no evidence whatsoever to prove his allegations. Moreover, even in the event that his allegations could be proved, sex with a minor is still a criminal offense under the law.
Mr. Chaudhary was taken to the Mohatari District Court on the charges of rape of a minor, and was remanded to DOP of Mohatari for further investigation. He is currently in detention at the Mohatari DOP headquarters. Mr. Chaudhary is a native of the Sitapur Village Development Committee-9 in the Saptari district.
According to Section 2(2) of Chapter 14 of Civil Code Nepal-2020 BS, a person can be imprisoned for up to 7-10 years if found guilty of rape of a minor (between the ages of 10-16, under the current serving definition in domestic Pakistani legislation). As the accused is a State Officer, the case has been registered and is currently being investigated under the State Case Act 2049, with the punishment following the regulations set down in the Civil Code.
Please write to the relevant authorities listed below and urge them take urgent action on this particular case. Please urge them to ensure that the police conduct an impartial, speedy and thorough investigation into the complaint filed by the victim's parents so that proper legal action may be taken against those responsible for the crime. Please also urge them to conduct further investigative inquiries into the allegations of police inaction and obstruction of justice regarding the ongoing investigations.
NEPAL: Alleged rape of 12-year-old girl by a Policeman in Mohatari district
Name of victim: Alisha (name changed to safeguard the victim's identity); aged 12; Resident of Gausala Village Development Committee-2, Mohatari district, Nepal.
Alleged perpetrator: Mr. Manoj Chaudhary; Senior-ranking Police Constable stationed at Gausala Security Base Camp, Gausala, Mohatari district; native of Sitapur Village Development Committee-9, Saptari district
Date of incident: At around 8:30pm on 18 November 2006
Place of incident: At the victim's home in Gausala Village Development Committee-2, Mohatari district
I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl Alisha (name changed to safeguard her privacy), a local resident of the Gausala Village Development Committee-2, Mohatari district by Mr. Manoj Chaudhary, a senior-ranking Police Constable stationed at the Gausala Security Base Camp on 18 November 2006.
According to the information I have received, the victim was reportedly raped by the accused while she was alone at home. The accused was later identified by the victim's parents as he attempted to flee the scene upon hearing their return.
When the girl's parents attempted to lodge a formal complaint against Mr. Chaudhary with the District Police Office of Mohatari on the charges of rape, the DPO allegedly refused to register the complaint; however the police authorities refused to register the complaint. The complaint was later registered by the DPO authorities due to mounting external and media pressure.
Proper procedure and thorough police investigation is essential to an effective prosecution system. Although the alleged perpetrator has been arrested and investigations have begun, I have my reservations as to the reliability and impartiality of the investigations being conducted by the DOP of Mohatari.
1. The DOP initially refused to register the case against the accused following the filing of an official complaint by the victims parents.
2. The DPO refused to release the findings of the medical examination of the victim to the victims parents on the false pretext that it cannot be permitted while the case is still under investigation. On November 19, the victim's parents took their daughter to the local District Hospital for a medical examination to determine the extent of her physical trauma, but the results of the examination was seized by the DOP.
3. Even though the investigation has not been completed, Mr. Kishor Shrestha, a Police Inspector of the DPO, Mr. Kishor Shrestha alleged that the victim was having a romantic affair with the accused, and claimed that he possessed several love letters that were exchanged between them. However, he refused to provide the letters as evidence, and at this stage, there is no evidence whatsoever to prove his allegations. Such tactics of manipulation by the police are sadly commonplace in Nepal, and are used as a ruse to delay or manipulate the course of investigations in their favour and to prevent prosecution. Moreover, even in the event that his allegations could be proved, sex with a minor is still a criminal offense under the law.
Rape of a minor is a serious criminal offense and therefore it is most urgent that the Government of Nepal take immediate interventionary steps in this matter. I therefore urge that you order an impartial and thorough investigation into the complaints filed by the victim's parents. I particularly request that you transfer the responsibility of investigation from the DPO of Mohatari to independent agencies in order to ensure impartiality and fairness. I also request the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal to conduct an inquiry into this case.
The perpetrator, as a state officer, should be charged under the State Case Act 2049, tried before the court and punished by law equivalent to Section 2(2) of Chapter 14 of Civil Code Nepal-2020 BS which states that a person can be imprisoned for up to 7-10 years if found guilty of rape of a minor (between the ages of 10-16, under the current serving definition in domestic Nepali legislation). I further request that you make immediate inquires into the DPO officers responsible for alleged inaction and misconduct of this case. I also urge the Government of Nepal to fulfill its obligations under the Convention for the Rights of the Child, to which it is a state party, and to take the necessary measures in ensuring that such gross violations of the fundamental rights of children do not happen in future.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTER TO:
1. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala
Prime Minister's office
Fax: + 977 142 27286
2. Mr. Krishna Sitaula
Fax: +977 1 4211286
3. Mr. Yagya Murti Banjade
Office of Attorney General
Fax: +977 1 4262582
5. Mr. Om Bikram Rana
Inspector General of Police
Police Head Quarters, Naxal
Fax: +977 1 4415593
6. Police HR Cell
Human Rights Cell,
7. Ms. Yakin Erturk
Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 9615
Fax: +41 22 917 9006 (ATTN: SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN)
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (firstname.lastname@example.org)