Under Pressure, Nepal Moves to Help Gangraped Nun


Kathmandu, Jul 16 (IANS): Under mounting pressure from the National Women's Commission, ethnic organisations and lawmakers, Nepal's government finally moved Saturday to help a Buddhist nun gangraped in a public bus last month, ordering the country's oldest hospital to admit her for medical treatment.

The ordeal of the 21-year-old bhikshuni, Buddhist nun - attacked by five men in a public bus June 24 - had continued till Friday when the Tribhuban University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu refused to admit her after her family flew her to the Nepal capital from a hospital in India's border town of Siliguri where she was taken earlier.

It was a deeply distressing experience for the young woman, who has lost weight dramatically, breaks out into uncontrolled peals of screaming and shies away from human touch.

Her elder sister, who accompanied her to the hospital with her father and uncle, said it required three to four people to hold her down in the bed for doctors to examine her.

After ethnic and Buddhist organisations this month began demanding the government decree exemplary punishment for the attackers and foot her medical bill as well as secure compensation, the nun's case has now also been taken up by the National Women's Commission and MPs from the women, children and social welfare committee of parliament.

While MPs directed the home ministry to punish the perpetrators, compensate her and pay for her treatment, the commission led protests before the hospital Friday after its emergency department refused to admit the nun.

The pressure finally made the home ministry send a representative to the hospital Saturday to ensure that she would be treated.

"Though government rules say only patients below 15 and above 70 suffering from cancer, Parkinson's, brain tumour, and kidney and heart diseases can be treated free of cost in government hospitals, this is an exceptional case," said Dr Ramu Sharma, the health ministry representative.

The nun, who comes from the Tamang community, one of the most disadvantaged communities of Nepal and the worst victims of human traffickers, is also likely to need psychiatric treatment and extensive counselling.

Besides the attack, she now faces the new ordeal of being stripped of her nun's habit as traditional Buddhist organisations say she can no longer remain a nun since she has lost her celibacy.

She was going home in eastern Nepal after attending a religious ceremony in Pokhara city when the bus she was travelling in became stuck on the road due to heavy rains.

As an old woman was also travelling with her she thought both of them could spend the night in the bus.

However, the old woman vanished and subsequently, the nun was attacked by the driver of the bus, his two helpers and the driver of another bus and his helper.

Though Nepal is the birthplace of the Buddha, the gangrape of a Buddhist nun, the first such incident in the Himalayan republic, did not generate the heat and anger as the victim comes from the Tamang community.

  

Comment on this article

  • Ksherchand, Nepal

    Tue, Jan 24 2012

    Dear Traditional Buddhist Organization,
    Please try to look after Buddha's teaching in a global context. Buddhism is now a global issue. Don't be intimated by as if you live in country dominated by Hindu Pundits. They will misguide you.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • bhimrajgurung, dehradun

    Mon, Jul 18 2011

    The religious org to which she belongs should not be so cruel to the nun.Rather than showing sympathy to the victim they are punishing her.Is it the dictum of the god.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • BUDDHA DHARMA, OBF INTERNATIONAL

    Sun, Jul 17 2011

    _/♥\_ NAMO AMITABHA ༀམཎིཔདྨེཧཱུྃ། 南无阿弥陀佛 We wrote mail to Prime minister of Nepal, to UN secretary general in New york, to Amnesty intern´l, London , Sakyadhita international, Nepal Buddhist association etc. in full support of Buddhist nun & her family. Demanding that 5 criminals are immediately imprisoned, med. bills for nun payed, compensation for her .Her money 130.000 Nrs was also stolen !We support this cause also on Facebook and will publish about it on wordpress HERITAGE OF MANKIND ,until it is successfully solved. We pray for poor nun . her relatives and all who suffer.This crime is clear sign that Nepal government and NGO must be more active to prevent violence against girls and women in Nepal, prevent trafficking and keep close look to drunken bus drivers & ticket sellers, because they support trafficking and violence against women.No drunken men should drive a bus. Police must do their work !!! OM MANI PADME HUM = COMPASSION IN ACTION . BUDDHA DHARMA - OBF INTERNATIONAL

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