From the Facebook wall of Mr. Ravi Kumar, an apparent victim of cops mistreatment and abuse of power. Mr. Kumar is founder of Code For Nepal. He and his wife Mitchell cofounded Code for Nepal, an organization aiming to increase digital literacy and use of big data in the country. To that end, they have launched nepalmap.org last year to make data on the country more accessible. Kumar has helped rebuild more than 25 schools in the remote villages of Nepal.
Last night a cop hit my arm and threatened to arrest me for taking a video in a public place in Nepal.
I was waiting for my ride in Kathmandu when I heard a traffic cop and a young man shouting at each other. A few pedestrians were watching. There were other cops too.
The young man was telling the cop to not mistreat him and follow the legal procedure. The cop started to threaten him verbally. I pulled my phone and started to take a video.
I had taken a video for a few seconds when another cop, Mr. Tamang, hit me. In his view, I was violating the law. He asked me to delete the video. I told him Nepalis laws allow people to record in public spaces. He threatened to arrest me.
I asked him if he had an arrest warrant. He said he didn’t need one. My ride came and I asked the cop if I could go. The cop said, “No” because he was going to arrest me and teach me a lesson. Another gentleman started to defend me, saying that I was within my rights to take videos in a public space. The cop then threatened to arrest that gentleman too.
I called a couple of friends to inform them about my situation. After that, I asked the cop about the legal basis for him to force us to stay on the sidewalk. He asked one of his team members to bring police warrant.
I just waited. The gentleman continued to talk to the cop, who was now arguing that I was a threat to a VIP motorcade. Since the gentleman was advocating on my behalf, he would be arrested too.
Two copies of the arrest warrant arrived and the cop asked for the name of the gentleman. I interrupted, saying we don’t need to share our personal info with the cop, as he was engaging in an illegal practice. I also thanked the cop for doing his job, but told him what he was doing was not right.
I politely asked again if he would let us go. He finally said yes.
Today I went to the police station where Mr. Tamang works. When I told a cop I wanted to file a complaint he started to lecture me on why I should not. Then he asked my name and dialed a number. After that another cop came and was very nice to me. He was an inspector who listened to me carefully. He then told me that last night I was violating a cyber crime law, apparently. The inspector invited his colleague, a cyber crime expert. We learned that the so called cyber crime law has been proposed but not passed yet. So we agreed I wasn’t violating anything.
Finally I was told that given Mr. Tamang is an inspector and the nice cop who was supposedly going to document my complaint is of the same rank, I will have to wait for Deputy Head of the Police Station to file my complaint. I told them I can’t wait because of another commitment. I thanked the cop for his time and left. Later I learned that a contact of mine had called someone higher up in the security circle and that might be one reason why I was treated nicely at the Police Station.
Overall I’m shocked by the lack of respect for the rule of law and civility Mr. Tamang had. As I kept speaking in English, he probably thought I was a foreigner. Because of my privilege, I knew I would be fine. But I worry about what happens to regular folks who are harassed like this. My hope is cops are trained and supported well, and they ought to know they are there to protect people and hold us accountable—not to misuse their power.
Have you had to face similar incident or situation, where you felt misuse of power by Nepal Police? Comment below.
Travel Story: Flying across the Malaysian Sky
On 2015, January 23, we were about to board for the very flight which would change our entire life for the years to come. The sheer joy of new excitement and hard goodbyes to our families were still clouded while we were waiting for our flight.
We had our flight from Air Asia with 80 minutes transit in the airport of Malaysia. With all our fellow Nepalese brothers heading to gulf countries, we were the only one going to Australia. But none of us knew, even though the countries are different, we were about to fall into the same fate of labour.
There was a guy with his “Dillibazar Tailoring” as his backpack resting down at his feet. A pang of frustration had actually started in me already why remittance is the only major source of economy in my country.
After about two hours, right when air hostesses started checking boarding pass for the flight lunch, one of the Nepalese guys started acting strange. At first, he was talking with the air hostess, tapping his pants all over around. But soon he started checking all the hand carries rested at the top of the passengers. My husband said he could be that one of the agent bringing workers in overseas and he added he is faking to his companions as though he had boarding pass for the lunch. I gave my quick glance to the guy with that shopping bag and to that supposed agent guy.
Relying on the quick judgement of my husband, I noticed that guy with a golden ring and think chain around his neck and silver watch, indeed he was fairly dressed than other people on board. He frantically searched almost all the luggage of his clients for like fifteen minutes. Clearly, it seemed like he was just pretending it with a promise that he had had actually boarding pass for lunch to be served. Rest of the brothers were silent and were staring in each other doubting if they are getting it. Eventually, he gave up with the request of air-hostess to get back to the seat for trolleys to be run.
After 15minutes our meal arrived, and it made me partly awkward to be only passengers on a row with lunch being served especially when my fellow native brothers went on curious as air hostesses started dragging down the food trolleys.
It was almost 8:38 PM when we landed into the Malaysian Airport. We had barely 80 minutes of transit.Though there were no words of goodbyes among us, we parted our ways. We were anxiously queueing in the line when I noticed another fellow with all of his backpacks and luggage was standing after me. My husband casually told him, ” yo line Hami Australia janeharuko go, tapaiko yah bata hoina justo lagyo”
Shocked and terrified, we pointed the direction where his group headed where he quickly ran to catch them. And we ran through the corridor of Malaysian Airline for one last time to change the fate of our promised life after that flight…
My rape story
These bone-chilling stories are the reality we live in. These stories are not shared to amuse us. They are shared so that we would introspect in individual level and in societal level and feel the untold and unreported horror and do the needful.
We had asked Kmag page followers to share their rape story and had provided them a google form to fill anonymously. We have asked them the following questions:
- If was an attempted rape or was raped.
- Their age when the incident happened.
- Raped by whom.
- Where the rape had happened.
- Have they reported or talked about it with other ?
- Did the person rape again or was it only once?
- Any other similar incident later in life.
- Do they get to meet the rapist in everyday life
- Detail of the incident.
Here is what we received
Introspection Exercise I
We all have our own share of strengths and weaknesses, flaws and gifts, carved by genes, stories, people, influences, experiences, exposures, and lot other factors, and that collectively defines us “Who I am” in individual level, an unique identity of self.
So, you too must have something in you, that adds onto a part of your identity…something that you are quite proud of.
Like for example,
“I cannot cheat, literally…that I like the most about myself,”
“I am hard to provoke,”
“calm and chill nature”
“My confidence level”
My singing talent or ……etc
Anyway, hope you got the point. so what is that thing about yourself that you like the most and you are quite proud of? Drop your comment below. 🙂
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