September Analysis: Gender and Social Inclusion

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The month of September saw the Citizenship 2006 Amendment Bill being rejected for the second time by President Bidya Devi Bhandari. While this year, the constitution marked 7 years of its promulgation, question remains regarding its sanctity if the President and the government begin to defy it. Finally in a landmark court ruling, District Court of Ramechhap sentenced a man to a year in jail on charge of caste-based discrimination.

Timeline of Major Events

DateEvent
7 September 2022A minor files rape complaints against Sandeep Lamichhane, the captain of Nepal’s national cricket team.
20 September 2022Nepal observed the Constitution Day marking 7 years since the promulgation of the new constitution.
21 September 2022President Bidya Devi Bhandari refused to sign the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
23 September 2022In a landmark ruling, District Court Ramechhap sentenced a man to a year in jail on charge of caste-based discrimination.

President Rejects the Citizenship Bill, Yet Again

On July 31st, Citizenship 2006 Amendment Bill was sent to the President for authentication by the speaker of the house, Agni Sapkota. Citing 15-points to be modified, President Bidya Devi Bhandari refused to sign the Bill and sent it back to the house for review on. However, both the houses sent back the Bill without any alteration for authentication again on September 5th, 2022. As per the Constitution, the President had no other choice but to authenticate the bill within the next 15 days after that. Nevertheless, on September 18, President Bidya Devi Bhandari yet again refused to sign the Citizenship 2006 Amendment Bill.

An estimated 500,000 people have been denied of citizenship. Despite the bill containing discriminatory and contradictory provisions, the Bill would still open door to citizenship for the children of those given ‘citizenship by birth.’ The Bill nonetheless would not address the discriminatory provision against children of Nepali women, who in order to get ‘Citizenship by Descent’ will only be eligible to get so if their father is declared ‘unidentified.’ Additionally, if the claim is found to be fall, the woman would face prosecution. The streets of Kathmandu saw several protests in the past weeks.

Nepal celebrated 7 years of constitution on September 20, 2022. However, Constitution does not represent many, especially those still awaiting citizenship and being denied of basic human rights such as acquiring education and land.

Landmark Caste-Based Discrimination Ruling

District Course of Ramechhap sentenced Sher Bahadur Nagarkoti to a year in jail on the charge of caste-based discrimination. Additionally, he will remain captive for three and a half years more for holding the victim hostage; as well as pay a fine of Rs. 75,000.

Nagarkoti, his wife, Bal Kumari and his son Roshan held a 13-year-old Dalit girl hostage for 21 hours in the accusation of stealing curd. The accused refrained from their stance even though villagers advised them against doing it. The offenders tied the girl, a fourth grader at the Devisthan Basic School, using a rope.

Rape Accusations against cricketer, Sandeep Lamichhane

Cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane accused of rape by a minor. Photo: The Kathmandu Post

A 17-year-old minor filed a rape complaint against cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane. On September 2, the rape survivor reached Gaushala police circle and made a complaint of sexual coercion against Lamichhane, in the presence of her guardian. The police took the girl to One Door Crisis Management Center in order to get a medical examination.

The girl in question claimed to have met Lamichhane at Snapchat, a messaging app. She said that on August 21, he picked her up at his private vehicle and left for Nagarkot. While the girl kept insisting to go back to Kathmandu, Lamichhane apparently kept delaying their departure, the complaint states. Once reaching Kathmandu, since her hostel was closed by then, the duo went to a hotel to wherein Lamichhane sexually abused her.

Nepal police filed a diffusion notice at the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) in the mid-September. A diffusion notice is what the local police of Interpol member states issue through the Interpol’s procedures. Now Lamichhane is in the police fugitive list of Interpol member states, which entitles the authority in the member states to detain him, if discovered, and extradite him to the Nepal police.

Following that, Lamichhane via a Facebook post, on September 23, wrote that, ‘All the allegations against me have affected me mentally. I am in mental stress and ill health, and have kept myself in isolation, following doctor’s advice.’ On October 1, Lamichhane, via Facebook post, wrote that he will return to Nepal on October 6 to face the legal charges against him.

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