The United Nations (UN) in Nepal has strongly condemned the rape and killing of a six-year old girl in Bardibas of Mahottari district and urged relevant authorities to urgently follow due process to ensure that the perpetrator is held accountable.

Issuing a press statement on Thursday UN said, “This incident happened on the eve of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign and has highlighted the critical need to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.”

“The campaign calls on governments, civil society and individuals to speak out and act to bring about the changes within our society and culture that perpetuates gender-based violence, at times with impunity. When incidents do occur, due process should be followed and perpetrators held accountable for their actions.”

The statement added that every survivor of GBV must be able to receive the full range of care that she or they need and deserve, including urgent medical attention and access to follow-up health services, psychosocial care, and protection and justice services.

“While holding perpetrators to account is critical at this stage, the UN would like to stress the fact that gender-based violence can be prevented. Doing justice to this little girl requires action to protect all women and girls in Nepal from violence.”

UN also urged demonstrators and security forces to raise their voice responsibly and to show restraint to avoid a further escalation of the situation.

Similarly, Nirajan Thapaliya, director of Amnesty International Nepal condemned excessive use of force by security personnel on protestors after a young man was shot dead by police during a protest rally in Bardibas held on Tuesday demanding action against the rapist and murderer of the six-year-old girl.

Buddhiraj Neupane (Sanjay) of Bardibas-1 succumbed to the bullet injury on Tuesday night while undergoing treatment at Grande Hospital in Kathmandu.

“It’s deeply worrying to see yet another instance of excessive use of force by the security personnel while controlling a demonstration leading to death and severe injuries of protesters in Nepal. There must be an immediate investigation into the incident and steps must be taken to ensure that those responsible are brought to account.”

“Law enforcement officials should follow the principles on the use of force which allows the use of firearms only when less dangerous means are not practicable and only to the minimum extent necessary,” Thapaliya said.

A six-year-old girl was found murdered in Bardibas, Mahottari on Monday. Preliminary investigation found that she had been raped prior to her death. Police has arrested the alleged perpetrator who has reportedly confessed to the crime.

On Tuesday, relatives of the victim and local residents took to the streets demanding strict action against the perpetrator. The demonstrators also set the accused’s house on fire resulting in a violent clash between security personnel and protesters.

Police reportedly hurled 22 tear gas cylinders and opened fire into the crowd. Three individuals were critically injured. One of them died on Wednesday.