Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Baluwatar on Friday, 20th May demanding justice for Sushmita Regmi, and a better legal system which includes removal of statute of limitations against rapists and sexual offenders.

In a revelation, which has horrified communities, model Sushmita Regmi speaks of traumatic incidents she had to experience beginning from 2014, when she was 16 years of age. Participant and winner of the Miss Grand Nepal pageant¬† in 2014, Sushmita begins by recalling a horrifying rape episode she had to experience – at the hands of an organiser who had called her to Hotel Everest on the pretext of a “success party”.¬† At the hotel, Ms Regmi was given a drug laced lemonade, after which she has hazy but painful recollections of the organiser raping her. While Regmi refrained from naming the perpetrator, Instagram stories point the rapist to be Manoj Pandey of Model Global Visas Consultancy.

Her raped and sexually exploitated her for 6 months, until she finally put a stop to it by going to the organiser’s office and exposing him. Ms Regmi has also mentioned that she reached out to the pageant’s choreographer for help – however she was denied any help. The pageant’s choreographer has been identified as Ms. Malvika Subba, who has issued an apology for her inaction.

Sushmita goes on to share how incidents of harrassments continued – be it sexual harassment from strangers who are taking her measurements for a dress or partners who emotionally abused her – exposing a widespread culture of abuse women of the glamour and entertainment industry are subjected to.

Sushmita’s incidents have also exposed other faults – especially in our legal system. According to Advocate Rastra Timalsena, rape victims have one year to file a case before the statute of limitations expires. In the case of minors, they have one year from the date of their eighteenth birthday. Unfortunately, Sushmita was unaware of the statute of limitations.

Sushmita’s incidents have also exposed other faults – especially in our legal system. According to Advocate Rastra Timalsena, rape victims have one year to file a case before the statute of limitations expires. In the case of minors, they have one year from the date of their eighteenth birthday. Unfortunately, Sushmita was unaware of the statute of limitations.

When asked what would it take to remove the statute of limitiations, Advocate Timalsena states that the legislative law would have to be reformed/passed from the House of Representatives. However, he also mentions that the review, if passed must be passed ex post facto, only then could judiciary try a perpetrator for their crimes before the law was passed/reviewed.

Advocate Timalsena has mentioned one approach which could allow the victim to access legal assistance – through Section 4 2(b) of Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act, which would allow her to allege that the perpetrator held her hostage and performed inexplicable acts on her.

Hundreds of citizens, horrified after the atrocious acts performed on Regmi, and apalled by the lax in the legal system, took to the streets on Friday – demanding justice, and demanding reform.

Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News

Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News

Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News

Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News

Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News

Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News

Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News

Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News

Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News

Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News

Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News