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Rai robbery, ‘rape’: PM ‘ashamed’


KATHMANDU, DEC 31 -

Bowing to pressure from family members of victims and women’s rights activists, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Sunday said he is “deeply ashamed” of government officials’ involvement in robbing and ‘raping’ Sita Rai on November 21.

Rai, who had returned from Saudi Arabia was robbed off

Rs 218,000 by immigration officials and was later allegedly raped by a police constable at a Gongabu-based lodge.

Speaking on Prime Minister with People, a monthly programme of Radio Nepal, Bhattarai assured stern action against those implicated in a report prepared by a Home Ministry probe panel. “I have already directed the Home Ministry to release the report at the earliest and bring the culprits to book,” the PM said.

“I have also told the ministry to forward the report to the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority,” he added.A new committee under PMO Secretary Raju Man Singh has also been tasked with preparing a report on the “murder” of Saraswati Subedi in Anamnagar and Shiwa Hasmi in Bardiya, Bhattarai said.

While Subedi was found dead two weeks ago at her workplace, Hasmi was burnt alive by her family members on December 8 for having an affair with a boy.

“Situations are such that our daughters and sisters are not allowed to marry the person of their choice,” said Bhattarai.

The apology comes as sit-in protests in front of the PM’s residence at Baluwatar and led by victims’ family members and rights activists entered the fourth day on Sunday.

Earlier on Saturday, a joint charter of demands had been submitted to Bhattarai. The demands include formation of a monitoring committee having victims’ representatives, lawyers and rights activists to look into the cases of violence against women, suspension of high-profile officials involved in Rai’s case, making public a government report.

Posted on: 2012-12-31 08:32