Incident Reports

Violence against Dalit women ends in reconciliation


Case 1: Shanti Pasi of Devdaha-11, Badkigumbi Tol of Rupandehi lost her teenage daughter 14 months ago. The daughter died after being raped. Pasi complained that her life was made miserable by society.

Case 2: Angira Pasi, a 13-year-old Dalit girl, was found dead on May 23, 2020. She was found hanging from a tree on the bank of Rohini river near her house after being raped. On the eve of the incident, Angira and Birendra, a youth from the village, were found by the locals in the ground. After that, the villagers and the family interrogated both of them and decided to hand over Angira to Birendra. Ward Chairman Amar Bahadur Chaudhary agreed to the decision. After that, Ward Chairman Chaudhary and locals gathered in the village and handed over the girl to the youth. Birendra's parents did not accept Angira saying that she belongs to a low caste. Then she committed suicide. It was criticized that the ward chairperson forcibly handed over the girl to the youth after mediating to help in taking legal action against the accused.

Case 3: After a two-year love affair, Sirjana Sunar and Suman Kshatriya of Shitganga-2, Arghakhanchi got married on March 15, 2021. Saying that she was  'Dalit', Suman's family called and started pressuring her to leave. After his family, relatives and neighbours did not allow him to enter the house, Suman stayed in Butwal and kept Sirjana. Sirjana repeatedly requested to be taken home. Sirjana had told family members over the phone that Suman's family was pressuring her to divorce him saying that she would not be allowed to enter the house. Although she got married last March, she informed her mother that an eight-month-old baby was growing in her womb. But, on August 5, she was found hanging from a fan. According to relatives and human rights activists, Sirjana died due to stress.

Case 4: An 8-year-old girl from the Dalit community of Tilottama-10 Shantinagar of Rupandehi was raped on May 10, 2020. It was later revealed that a 14-year-old body had raped her by tying her hands and feet. The girl was severely injured in her genitals and was taken to the hospital for treatment. On May 18, the local social worker, Area Development Organization had called the accused teenager. The teenager admitted that he had made a mistake in the meeting. The police had prepared a case and arrested him and conducted further investigation. Although he could not be arrested as he was a minor, the investigation and legal process were completed by keeping him at home. The organization rescued the girl and gave her shelter. Now she is studying in a local orphanage. Her wound has not healed yet.

Case 5: Last year, 24-year-old Shobha Harijan of Shuddhodhan Rural Municipality-1 was insulted by five neighbours using caste slurs like 'Kujat, Kami'.A case of discrimination was registered against them for ethnic untouchability and discrimination.

Case 6: A teenager from Tindhura in Tilottama-14 had been living in her house with her boyfriend. She was forced to abort her child. She also lodged a complaint with the police alleging that she was evicted from the house due to her caste. She had fought a legal battle by demanding Rs 200,000 bail from the defendant.

Case 7:Last July, Krishna Sarki lodged a complaint at the Kohalpur Area Police Office in Banke saying that she could not bear the untouchability and discrimination of her neighbours. Tilak Bahadur Khapari, a neighbour of Sarki, who was arrested in a case of untouchability and discrimination related to abusive behaviour registered in the court, was released on Rs 40,000 bail.

These are just a few examples. Frequent incidents of violence in society are becoming public. Violence against women is exposed only after it is registered with the police. Rima BC, a representative of Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC) Rupandehi, said that many incidents taking place in the society do not reach the police. She said that many issues have been settled amicably. Another reason for not allowing such violence to reach the police administration is the compulsion to live in the community, she said. According to her, even the Dalit rights activists have been comparing the financially rich and the poor and the victims have always been in pain due to this comparison.

According to the State Police Office, Lumbini, 10 cases of untouchability and discrimination against Dalit women were registered in Lumbini Province in 2076/77 BS. In 2077/78, only 5 such cases were registered. According to the police, the decrease in the number of cases does not mean that there is no violence. State Police Spokesperson SP Rajendra Khadka said that there were many incidents inside the house as it would be brought under the scope of action.

National/Online Media