Sunday, 19 September, 2021

Get Tough With Rapists

Bini Dahal

Talking and writing about the patriarchal society and the various acts of violence that girls and women suffer from seems to be never-ending. Every week, one or the other cases of social harassment makes its way to the headlines of our newspapers and TV channels. And all we do is show our fury for a certain time, hope for justice and then forget the whole incident and go on our own ways.
A recent case of a 12-year-old girl of Bajhang being raped and murdered by her own neighbour has not only horrified everyone but also shamed the whole nation. Though the local police in Bajhang have arrested the perpetrator and made him public after carrying out investigation into his involvement in the heinous crime. But according to the girl’s family, the press statement issued by the police indicates nowhere that the man is the main suspect of the whole case. So, the victim’s family members have demanded a proper investigation into the matter. A team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was sent to the district to take over the case.
In a country where male chauvinism plays its part everywhere, most girls and women are bound to be the target of different kinds of social injustice, abuses and violence. And the very lenient law enforcement system of the country also plays its part in indirectly supporting such culprits. Whenever a girl suffers from violence, she goes through massive public scrutiny, and the public voices pile a big pressure on the police to take the whole case seriously. Otherwise, most of the time, the unsatisfied voices of the victim’s family members are suppressed and the case is dismissed as time passes.
News reports are pouring in to show how the police are putting their extra efforts to wrap up Nirmala Panta’s rape and murder mystery. The unfortunate incident had happened more than two years back. Although a probe into the crime is said to have begun immediately after the incident, the victim’s family is still waiting for justice. Within the period of two years, we have not seen any indication that the Panta family may get justice.
For receiving justice, Nirmala’s parents even went on strike many times to the point her father’s mental health was in a really bad situation. It was already forgotten until a social media trend brought back memories fresh from two years ago. This is why the police administration’s ability in conducting a timely and fair investigation has been questioned all the time, forcing them to buckle up and do better. But sadly, the investigation is carried out merely for the formality only to make the victims and others poignantly revisit this adage time and again: “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
Police are our protectors. They play an important role in protecting the victims and making sure that the culprits are put behind bars for their actions. But the slow legal process has given rise to frustration among the victims. This type of approach must be changed for efficient justice delivery. The government and its law enforcement should make sure that a conducive environment is in place. Only when the victims do not feel more victimised and where culprits do not feel a sense of satisfaction for committing the crimes.