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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

HIV Victim Beaten As Police Taunt Gays In Nepal

UK Gay News

KATHMANDU, September 26 – A Nepalese meti afflicted with HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS, was savagely beaten by police and detained in a Kathmandu police station for a day before being released on payment of what was effectively a bribe.

[A meti is a M-to-F transgendered person]

Kala Rai was told by officers at the Durbar Marg Police Station, next to the Royal Palace, that she could either pay them 1,800 Nepali rupees in “compensation” or be jailed for 6 months and pay a fine of up to 28,000 Nepali rupees on a public offence charge.

On Sunday evening, Kala Rai was released after handing over as much as she could – 1,000 rupees.

Earlier that day, the Blue Diamond Society called the National Human Rights Commission and Human Rights Cell of the Nepal Police to come and monitor and report on the case.
Both groups refused by saying “it seems to be a fight between a meti gang and a Police gang” and they couldn't get involved.

Trouble flared in Kathmandu when a handful of plain-clothed police approached a group of metis and gay men outside the Himalayan Java Café in the Thamel tourist area of the city. The police were, according to reports, “trying to make some money and having free sex”.
One policeman, named as Nava Raj Adhikari, started abusing a young meti, 21-years-old Puspa, by burning his cigarette on her hands, forcefully putting his hand on her private parts and asking her to come with him for sex.

Puspa refused and tried to avoid him but he became more violent and pulled her hair and slapped her. When the other metis saw the policeman being heavy handed with Puspa, they rushed to help her.

Initially, the metis were successful in chasing the policeman away. But after a while, Nava Raj Adhikari returned with more friends and started beating two other metis, Sanjaya (about 25 years old ) and Suntali (about 21 years old).
Suntali was hit hard on the waist by a stone thrown by the policemen. Both Sanjaya and Suntali then ran away.

The police become more violent and started brutally chasing more metis. Then they caught Kala Rai, a meti in her mid 20s. The policemen beat her with boots and fists and dragged her to the Durbar Marg Police Station. Where she was accused of hitting officer Nava Raj Adhikari with a stone.

More police from Durbar Marg were then mobilized to abuse more metis. Three policemen in uniform came by a taxi (number 1816) to Thamel and beat another meti – Rabi. She was badly injured on her leg, hands and backside when the policemen beat her with sticks and boots.
Last week, I was excited to send the Nepal draft LGBT Charter around the world for support and solidarity,” said Sunil Pant, the head of the Blue diamond Society.

“However, I now realize that the draft Charter is not clear enough in its fundamental thinking – there is no rule of law in Nepal for sexual/gender minorities and there is no legal institution that is ready to stand with us whenever we are in crisis.

“Compromise seems to be the 'watchword' – but that leads nowhere in this situation.
“We have recently been warned by a few friendly junior Policemen who are partners of metis of the Nepal Police’s policy against metis and Blue Diamond Society. High level Police officials believe in cracking down on the root what they see as ‘social and cultural pollution’,” Pant added.

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