Bal Mandir minors 'sexually exploited repeatedly'
Involvement of accused yet to be verified
KATHMANDU, July 9: On the basis of medical examinations, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police on Wednesday submitted its investigation report to Kathmandu District Attorney with testimonies that three minor girls, students at Bal Mandir, were sexually exploited repeatedly.
"After a three-week intensified investigation, we have submitted our report with all the testimonies and handed the two accused over to the charge of attorneys for further legal action," SSP Uttam Karki, Acting Chief of CIB, said. "The minors were sexually abused to the full over and over again,” a police source said citing the investigation report.
Police had arrested the two individuals previously associated with Bal Mandir, also known as Nepal Children´s Organization (NCO), one of the country´s oldest orphanages, and they were remanded to police custody for investigations into rape charges made against them by three minor girls, who are now at a different orphanage.
It has also come to light that the three girls were medically examined on October 10, 2013 at Patan Hospital. The hospital report also stated that the girls had been sexually abused since one year back.
“I knew that a medical examination was carried out by the then NCO Board, which has now collapsed, but I am sure such alleged abuse never took place within the compound of the Bal Mandir,” Subash Pokharel, general secretary of NCO, said.
There were many minor students that leave the Bal Mandir in the morning for studies and return in the afternoon, General Secretary Pokharel said adding that there were chances of their being abused while they are outside but not while inside the compound.
CIB had arrested a former NCO student and a former NCO employee -identified as Rabin Chalise and Rabin Shrestha - after the three minor girls living at the Naxal Bal Mandir complained of being sexually exploited. CIB, in coordination with the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), had shifted the three girls, who are below 15 years of age, from the Bal Mandir after an NGO, Action for Child Rights International (ACRI), drew the attention of police to the matter.
During the police investigation, the minor girls said they would be lured with sweets and had been facing exploitation for a long time, according to police. Though the sexual exploition has been proved medically, the involvement of the accused is yet to be verified medically, a police source said.
Chalishe, the chairman of a club of former NCO students, and Shrestha, a former employee, had easy access to the Bal Mandir orphanages but they have been denying any involvement in abuse.
If the accused are proved guilty, they should be duly punished and long-term arrangements made for the education and future safety of the victimized girls, said Salina Tamang, country director of ACRI.
Students of Bal Mandir last week protested against the public exposure of the 'sexual abuse' charges while CIB investigations were still under way. Police personnel involved in the investigations said Bal Mandir staff were indifferent to the investigations and ignored the complaints of the victims.
Published on 2014-07-10
For more on the scandal, see Pound Pup Legacy:
Nepal -- Rabin Shrestha (alleged child rapist) & Action for Child Rights International
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