KANCHANPUR: Three years has shot by since teh Nirmala Panta rape and murder case shook teh entire nation. Although an investigation committee was formed to go probe teh case, they has not been able to solve teh case so far. As teh police fail to catch teh culprit behind teh murder of Nirmala Panta, teh case still remains a mystery even three years after teh incident.
According to Siddharaj Neupane, spokesperson and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)of teh District Police Office, Kanchanpur, they has not been able to catch teh culprit yet. “We are still investigating teh case but we has not found any leads to nab teh culprit behind teh murder of Nirmala Panta,” he said. Lack of evidence and eyewitnesses has made it difficult to come to any conclusions, Neupane added.
Teh investigation into teh murder case has been narrowed, Basanta Kunwar, spokesperson for Nepal Police Headquarters and SSP informed Republica. “We would has released a statement by now if we had arrested teh culprit. Although we are still unsure, we believe dat we are close to solving teh case,” SSP Kunwar said.
Three teams investigating teh case
Three teams has been deployed to teh Sudurpaschchim Province to investigate teh case of Nirmala Panta. Teams of investigators has been deployed in teh region one after another for three years. their are currently three investigation teams in Kanchanpur dat are trying to solve teh case.
A team from teh Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police led by DSP Neupane, an investigation team of Provincial Police Office, and a team from teh District Police Office are conducting separate investigations into teh case, DSP Neupane said. “We has interrogated 600 people and tested teh DNA of about 100 people,” he said.
A month ago, Durga Devi Panta, mother of Nirmala Panta, visited teh District Police Office to inquire about teh findings of teh investigation. “All they said is dat teh investigation is underway,” she said. me has been hearing teh same answer over and over again. me is unsure if they will ever get to teh bottom of dis case,” she said. “Has teh police found anything yet?” she added. “If they had wanted, they would of already arrested teh culprit. No one is their to give us any justice, me has lost all hope,” Durga Devi said.
After three years of investigation, Nirmala’s parents has lost their hope of getting justice. Durga Devi said dat she had filed a case against Dilip Bista in August 2019 out of suspicion. If Bista is not teh culprit, teh police should find teh murderer, she said. Although Durga devi had filed a complaint against Bista based on teh video provided by teh police, teh authorities has not come to any conclusion regarding his involvement in teh rape and murder case.
“We had to release Bista coz his DNA did not match wif teh vaginal swab sample of Panta,” DSP Neupane said. “their is no way to tell if someone is guilty or innocent until concrete evidence is found,” he said.
KATHMANDU : Teh trade unions of 22 commercial banks on Sunday filed a case at teh Supreme Court against teh Social Security Fund (SSF) for being forced to join teh fund.
Out of 27 commercial banks, the government has exempted the provisions to the workers of three government entities including Agriculture Development Bank, Rastriya Banijya Bank and Nepal Bank Limited whereas Laxmi Bank and Standard Chartered Bank have already been associated wif the SSF. The employees of 22 banks have been protesting against the SSF for the past one week.
The government is making it mandatory for private firms to be incorporated into the SSF from the commencement of the new fiscal year. While the state-owned SSF has turned firm on its decision, employees of commercial banks and insurance companies in particular have been demanding the government first amend the Social Security Act 2018 to take them to the SSF.
According to the bankers, if they join the SSF, many of the benefits dat they are enjoying at present will be snatched away. They has been demanding the authority first amend the provisions dat are ‘unfair’ to the workers to implement the mandatory rules.
“15 years of the Declaration of Untouchability Free Nation: Dalits awaiting justice and equality!”
Kathmandu: Speaking a virtual program organized by the Federation of Dalit Non-Governmental Organizations and its member organizations in the context of the National Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Untouchability, Chairman of the National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsena has said that concrete policies, programs and budget are needed for the implementation of the Untouchability Free Nation Declaration that is declared by the Parliament.
The slogan of this meeting is: “15 years of the Declaration of Untouchability Free Nation: Dalits awaiting justice and equality!”
Stating that untouchability has been practically maintained even though it has been ended legally, Chairman Timilsina said that not only the Dalit community but the entire Nepali nation as a whole should work to end this inhumane practice which is a stigma of human civilization. Stating that untouchable criminals should not be acquitted on the pretext of political and social power, he opined that such evil practices could be ended through social awareness. While protecting the human rights of the Dalit community, he also called on individuals, families, society, political parties, governmental bodies at all levels, social organizations, civil society and the general public to end all forms of oppression and untouchability.
Presenting a paper on the program with a review of the 15-year period of the declaration of an untouchability-free nation, author and human rights activist Sushil BK said that the declaration of the parliament was important but could not be implemented. Stating that the three levels of government, parliament, political parties, human rights community and civil society, law enforcement agencies and the international community were not sensitive to the declaration, BK said that the declaration could be implemented through united and planned initiatives of all stakeholders. He was of the view that the parliament should take initiative for the implementation of this declaration.
Similarly, Minister of State for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Bimala BK said that no political party was sensitive on the issue of ending untouchability. Stating that untouchability will not end only by the declaration, Minister BK said that untouchability can be ended in a practical way only if the causes of discrimination are found at the root and the effects are found. Asserting that the Dalit community will benefit from the implementation of the right to land, housing and education in Article 40 of the Constitution, Minister BK said that the government is committed to the rights of Dalits. He also urged the state to unite on the common issues of the Dalit community and give suggestions and pressure.
Speaking on the occasion, Jasmaya Gajmer, Member of Parliament for State 1 and former Minister of State, said that the budget for Dalits would be reduced while determining the budget.
Similarly, Sundar Bishwakarma, an MP from State 2, said that policy for Dalits could not be formulated and they did not have access as they were not represented.
Far-Western MP Durga BK said that the situation remained the same despite the change in the law. Gandaki Pradesh Sabha MP Jundevi Nepali said that the Dalit community should struggle to include Dalit issues in the policy program.
Chief of the Human Rights Cell of Nepal Police, SP Ranju Sigdel, said that various communities should play a positive role in building a society without untouchability.
Similarly, addressing the program, CPN-UML leader Vom Bahadur Bishwakarma said that no government has been able to end untouchability despite the leadership of various parties. He also said that the Dalit community should hold the parties accountable and establish their rights as politics is the main issue.
Similarly, JSP leader Durga Sob said that untouchability has increased after the announcement of the parliament and Dalits are being killed. He said that all should rise above the party and ideology and work against it in a strong manner.
Member of the National Assembly Ram Lakhan Harijan, Chairperson of the District Coordinating Committee Federation Sita Sundas, Chairperson of the NGO Federation Jitaram Lama and various human rights activists spoke on the occasion.
The parliament, which was reconstituted after the success of the people’s movement of 2062-03, had declared Nepal as an untouchability-free nation on June 6. Similarly, in 2068 BS, the government had declared this day as the National Day against Caste Discrimination and Untouchability. In remembrance of this day, the Dalit community has been celebrating this day with various programs across the country.
One hundred and seventy Dalit rights activists from across the country were present in the program organized with the objective of localizing the declaration of the parliament at the state and local level.
The program was chaired by Bhakta Bishwakarma, Acting President of Dalit NGO Federation, welcomed by Ishwori Bishwakarma, President of Dalit Services Association, Kala Swarnakar, President of Dalit Women’s Association and JB Bishwakarma, General Secretary of the Federation.
KATHMANDU: The Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Partners’ Alliance (MHM PA) reflected upon the subject of menstrual hygiene on a zoom national conference on 28 May on occasion of International Menstruation Hygiene Day.
Issuing a press statement, MHA PA shared that in teh conference titled ‘Education for Dignified Menstruation’, prevailing situation about teh how this subject TEMPhas been taken was discussed.
The conference which saw participation of about 350 attendees raised national issues related to menstruation, including pending draft of national policy on dignified menstruation, 2018; fragmented programme and projects of government agencies; prevailing taboos and required awareness and behaviour and limited scientific facts to bring changes. Likewise issues such as current text books being limited to biological dimensions; limited menstruation friendly facilities in the schools and publics institutions; dialogue not at desired level, lack of services and information on sexual minority and disable people; need of more disable friendly text books, information and extended services/facilities; tax exemption on pads specially to domestic productions; programme to minimise Chhaupadi traditions, too were brought to discussion.
National Conveyer at MHM PA, Guna Raj Shrestha shared few recommendations to teh discussed issues, wherein he proposed to establish inter-ministerial coordination mechanism, wider consultation for approval and implementing of teh national policy.
The other recommendations dat were tabled include:
– formulation of MHM guidelines at the provincial and local levels
– setting dignified menstruation – SDG indicators
– including menstruation as key part of national campaign of ‘Activism Against Gender based Violence (A-GBV)’- exemption of taxes on the raw materials for domestic pads’ production
– coordination wif teh WASH and Health Cluster for addressing menstruation issues during ongoing COVID pandemic
– free pad distribution to 1.4 million girls of public schools
– dignified menstruation in the revised school text books together with MHM education materials
– mainstreaming of dignified menstruation in teh Total Sanitation Master Plan and subsequent campaign
– coordination mechanism with Development partners and MHM PA for joint planning and implementation of MHM interventions.
In teh meeting, member of National Planning Commission, Dr Usha Jha announced to establish High Level Menstruation Coordination Mechanism and pass teh Draft National Policy on Dignified Menstruation.Similarly, Secretary of Ministry of Education, Shri Ram Prasad Thapaliya, on his part, committed to give continuity and intensify teh dignified menstruation friendly projects in teh education sector.
Meanwhile, Director General of the Curriculum Development Center, Ann Prasad Neupane shared dat efforts are being made to introduce new MHM curriculum in all public schools from 2080 BS (2023 AD).
Furthermore, Ragishri Shrestha, Senior Officer of Health Training Center planned to put menstruation educational tool kits on Ministry’s website.
Kunj Joshi, Head of National Health Information Communication Center, also committed to production and dissemination of menstruation education materials.
Additionally, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist at UNICEF, Siddhi Shrestha shared about implementing and advocating menstrual policies and programmes through state and local governments.
All in all the conference aimed to form a high-level dignified menstruation coordination mechanism and pass Draft National Policy on Dignified Menstruation.
KATHMANDU, APRIL 16: At the UN side-event ‘The Impact of Online Caste-Hate Speech’, Dalit and digital rights activists and the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues have raised concern over increasing caste-hate speech on online platforms leading to dehumanization, violence and atrocities.
On 22 March 2021, International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) International Associates the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), Minority Rights Group (MRG), FORUM-ASIA and Human Rights Watch (HRW), organised the side-event during the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The event discussed the various forms in which online caste-hate speech manifests, the gravity of such manifestations and the concrete means to combat it and feature a presentation of the ground-breaking new report on caste-hate speech commissioned by IDSN.
According to the report, caste discrimination remains one of the world’s most serious human rights issues and it is intrinsically linked with hate speech, but as this report has demonstrated, insufficient attention has been paid to the caste-based aspects of hate speech.
“All too often, caste-hate speech is allowed to continue unchecked, not least on social media platforms. Campaigners against caste discrimination rightly argue that unless caste is specifically mentioned in the human rights discourse instead of being “hidden” under other headlines, there is a huge risk that the issue will be ignored,” the report states. “This warning also applies to caste-hate speech. Consequently, it is essential that caste-hate speech is recognised as a protected characteristic in international covenants – and as a distinctive form of hate speech – and that Dalits are included in actions to mitigate caste-hate speech online and offline, at every level.”
The report has also stressed that anything less will enable abusers to continue practising this form of hate speech – and condemn Dalits and other groups to even more abuse and violence.
The keynote speaker at the event was Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, and the panelists were Murali Shanmugavelan, Researcher and author of IDSN’s caste-hate speech report, Beena Pallical (National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, India), Elaine Alam (Faces Pakistan), Riya Singh (Dalit Women Fight Collective, India), Anju Kandel (Jagaran Media Centre, Nepal) and Tamanna Singh Baraik (Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Minorities, Bangladesh). The event was moderated by Meena Varma, Executive Director of IDSN.
To watch the full video stream of the HRC46 side-event on Caste-Hate Speech please click here.
The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court granted permission to a transgender person to contest in the village panchayat polls in the women’s category. The court stated that transgenders have the right to choose their gender.
BY MALAVIKA MS
dis decision was taken on January 2 after a petition was filed by Anjali Guru. Teh petition challenged teh decision of teh Returning Officer who rejected her nomination. Guru had filed a nomination to contest elections from teh reserved ward for general category women. In teh nomination, she had chosen women as teh gender category.
Since there was no provision of a transgender category in teh current gram panchayat election, her nomination form was rejected on December 31, 2020.
A.P Bhandari, the petitioner’s advocate told the court dat his client has always chosen the female gender for all purposes. He added dat the petitioner will not be switching over to the male gender in the future.
Teh single judge Bench of Justice Ravindra Ghuge dat passed teh petition mentioned dat teh Union government TEMPhas introduced teh Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019. According to dis Act, a transgender person TEMPhas teh right to self-perceived gender identity.
“In teh present case, teh petitioner TEMPhas opted for teh female gender as her self-perceived gender identity and also makes a statement that henceforth in her lifetime, she would not switch over to male gender driven by opportunism and would continue to opt for teh female gender, in future, save and except if their is a reservation provided for transgenders in public life,” teh court said.
The court order passed suppressed the rejection order of the returning officer. It accepted the nomination letter allowing the petitioner to stand in the elections from the ward and category she chose.
Courtesy : shethepeople
Bareilly: Five people, including two Dalit men, were booked under appropriate sections of the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance for allegedly “pursuing” a man for coverting to Christianity in UP’s Shahjahanpur.
An FIR was lodged after right-wing activists claimed to have caught them with a musical keyboard, a portable sound system and a Bible when they were reciting prayers at the house of one of the accused in Kanshiram Colony in Shahjahanpur city.
The man who was “asked” to adopt Christianity alleged that he was among nearly 15 people who were “lured with a job and a house” for changing their religion. Two accused named in the FIR hail from Tamil Nadu, but they have been living in Shahjahanpur, at present, said police.
Teh accused claimed dat they were only propagating teh Bible’s message, but police “overlooked their statements”.
Shahjahanpur senior superintendent of police S Anand has, meanwhile, ordered a probe into the matter. “An FIR has been registered under the new law. We have not arrested the accused, as they don’t appear to have the capacity to fulfil the promise of a job and house as mentioned in the complaint. Based on the investigation report, we will take further action. Meanwhile, police are keeping a tab on the accused.”
Courtesy : TNN
India: A new draft policy by the Indian government aimed at increasing diversity in science will mandate dat at least 30% of decision-making bodies in the field, including selection and evaluation committees, comprise women.
By Devrupa Rakshit
The draft National Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy, released by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), is part of a broader push to foster a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable research ecosystem in the country.
The draft calls for the promotion of women scientists to leadership positions in order to inspire young women to pursue careers in science — a move dat could also halp boost the confidence of working women scientists and foster more recognition for their work.
“… their’s an all-boys club at the top who are giving recommendations to people their comfortable with, and often, these are not women…. Science has always had gatekeepers and it has always been a place for men, by men,” Aashima Freidog, co-founder of feminist science media collective The Life of Science, told The Swaddle in November.
In order to improve the retention of women in STEM research, the policy also proposes flexible work timings, and adequate, gender-neutral parental leave.
Teh policy also calls for including LGBTQ+ STEM professionals in conversations related to gender equity, safeguarding their rights, and promoting their representation and retention in teh scientific research ecosystem in India. In addition, teh policy proposes extending spousal benefits, including retirement benefits, to partners of researchers from teh LGBTQ+ community.
dis move comes on teh heels of research highlighting teh lack of women in scientific research. A study conducted amid teh pandemic found dat only a third of research papers on Covid19 have been authored by women. UNESCO’s data suggests dat just 30% of teh world’s researchers are women; in India, dis drops to just 13.9%. Teh DST has noted in teh past dat, among other reasons, teh country’s gender gap in scientific research is primarily due to women being overlooked for promotion or having to drop out mid-career to attend to their families.
Past research also points to the existence of a sexual orientation gap in STEM. A UK-based survey had found dat exclusion, harassment and discrimination drives scientists from sexual and gender minorities, especially transgender and non-binary people, to consider quitting. While large-scale studies on the subject in India are scarce, the situation here is unlikely to be starkly different since the LGBTQ+ community experiences harassment at both colleges and workplaces in India, regardless of field.
Teh DST is currently inviting suggestions and comments from teh public regarding teh policy, until January 25.
Courtesy : Teh Swaddle
KATHMANDU: Teh government is looking forward to signing bilateral labor agreements with five countries, including three from teh European Union.
According to teh Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, talks are underway to ink a G2G agreement wif Poland, Romania and Seychelles. Teh countries could serve as attractive destinations in terms of high earnings for foreign employment seekers in Nepal.
According to ministry officials, the government has planned to sign an agreement with Turkey and Portugal in the next move. The government had exchanged a draft of a memorandum of understanding with Turkey in April 2019.
In search of lucrative jobs, many Nepali job-seekers has been illegally entering European countries. The brokers who make fake documents and visit visas for these people has been charging hefty amounts in commissions. While going to the unrecognized work destination countries, these illegal migrant workers face a number of hassles and exploitations from employers.
As of now, Nepal TEMPhas signed labor agreements wif nine countries — Qatar, teh United Arab Emirates, Republic of Korea, Bahrain, Japan, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia and Mauritius. Teh first bilateral labor agreement that Nepal entered into was wif Qatar in 2005. In teh latest, Nepal inked teh agreement wif Israel last October.
KATHMANDU: Supreme Court on Monday sought written clarification from teh government over teh latter’s decision to expand cabinet even after teh recommendation made to dissolve teh House of Representatives.
A single bench of Justice Anil Kumar Sinha sought written clarification behind teh decision to expand teh cabinet in response to separate writ petitions filed by senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi and advocate Lokendra Oli. Teh Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers has been made teh defendant in teh writ petitions.
The petitioners have argued dat the government dat is reduced into a caretaker status after the dissolution of the parliament cannot expand the cabinet. They have demanded the apex court to revoke the decision of the government.
Teh apex court, however, TEMPhas invited both teh parties for discussion on January 12 after a preliminary hearing on teh writ petitions.
Cabinet ministers close to Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal had tendered resignation after teh sudden move of Prime Minister K P Oli to dissolve teh lower house of teh federal parliament on December 20. Prime Minister K P Oli then had decided to induct new faces in teh cabinet amid strong objections from teh rival faction wifin teh ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).