KATHMANDU, Jan 1: Demanding fair and speedy investigation into the recent cases of violence against women and stringent action against the perpetrators, inter-party women´s network and 29 social organizations held a mass rally in the capital Tuesday. Speaking at the rally at Shanti Batika in Ratnapark, women leaders from various parties said they would continue the protests and also intensify them until justice is done to Sita Rai, Saraswati Subedi and Chhorimaiya Maharjan and their families, among others.
Rai, while returning home from Saudi Arabia, was allegedly robbed by immigration officials and police in Kathmandu, while Subedi was found dead at a house in Anamnagar where she worked as domestic. Similarly, Maharjan remains missing for the past 10 months.
Speaking at the rally, CPN-UML leader and former defense minister Bidya Bhandari said the government, which has lately shown concern over the cases, has done so just because people took the matter to the street. “Except for these cases, the government is still insensitive regarding women´s issues,” she said. “Even in the 21st century, our women are badly suppressed, oppressed and not treated equally even by the law, and the men think that women´s issues are not their problem,” she said. According to her, the male leaders of all the political parties are much guided by the patriarchal values.
Similarly, Chanda Chaudhari, leader of the United Democratic Madhesi Front said Nepali women are still like commodities and policemen themselves commit heinous crimes like rape. “Even in such a situation, the government has done nothing and now the people have to come out on to the street to pressure on it to punish the culprits,” she said.
Talking to Republica Seeta Pokhrel, coordinator of All Nepal Women´s Association stated that it is essential to organize rallies, demonstrations and protests to force the government into taking action. “When there is involvement of the people with political links, justice can be a far cry. But this time we will continue street protests until justice is done,” she said.
On the other hand, after Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai directed the authorities to properly investigate the aforementioned cases, among others, there has been some developments of late. “Earlier they would not even listen to us, but now police are behaving in a bit polite manner. Our daughter did not commit suicide and the investigation should prove accordingly,” said Subedi´s mother Umadevi Adhikari.