Three men arrested on charge of sexually assaulting two Raute girlsThe suspects took the victims to a local hotel, got them drunk and sexually assaulted them, according to police.
Police on Sunday arrested three people on the charge of sexually assaulting two teenage girls from the Raute community in Gurbhakot Municipality-9, Surkhet on Saturday night.
The suspects allegedly took the victims to a local hotel, got them drunk and sexually assaulted them, according to police.
The men filmed the incident and uploaded the video on social media. The video shows the perpetrators drinking alcohol with the victims and harassing the intoxicated women. Police detained the accused on Sunday after the video went viral.
According to Deputy Superintendent of Police Ram Prasad Gharti, 29-year-old Binod Pun, owner of the hotel where the incident took place, and two local youths Bhupendra Budha, 24, and Daman Bahadur Gharti, 35, were arrested in connection to the incident.
“Investigation into the case is underway. We cannot reveal the details about the incident just yet,” said DSP Gharti. “People from the Raute community hesitate to talk to outsiders so we will have to tread carefully.”
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission has asked the government to take immediate action against the perpetrators.
Issuing a statement on Sunday, the commission urged the government to investigate the incident and bring the guilty under book.
The commission’s provincial branch office in Karnali monitored the incident site and inquired about the matter after the video went public on social media.
According to Anita Gyawali, the women development officer at the Social Development Ministry of Karnali Province, the lives of the victims are in danger, as the news and video of the incident have gone public.
“The video has been taken down from social media platforms,” said Gyawali. “We have been trying to convince the victims to get medical tests done but they are hesitant.”
According to Gyawali, the victims do not realise that what happened to them is wrong.
“They returned to their settlement on Sunday morning. People from the Raute community are sequestered from the outside world and it’s difficult for them to comprehend public scrutiny,” she said.
Security personnel have been deployed near the Raute settlement for the safety of the victims.
Pursuant to the decision of a Cabinet meeting in June 2018, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration had instructed Gurans Rural Municipality in Dailekh district to distribute ID cards to the people of the Raute community. Accordingly, the local unit issued identity cards to the Rautes, the nomadic ethnic people, in July 2018.
As per the national census carried out by the Central Bureau of Statistics in 2011, there are 618 Raute people across the nation. They live in the forest in flimsy huts and frequently change their settlement.