July 1, 2008

Bikram Shrestha

Translated from the Nayapatrika daily – June 29, 2008 Issue:

The law has forbidden making any child (below 14 years old) work. However, one former aide minister has not only kept an eight year old boy as a house worker, he has beaten and injured the boy using pipe and khukuri.

The one who demonstrated this cruelty upon the innocent boy is – former aide minister and leader of Nepali Congress Sarbadhan Rai. Rai, in drunken spree, carried out this beating over his house worker Bikram Shrestha on Thursday, June 26. A “Female Tole Sudhar Samiti” at Naraynsthan had rescued the boy and taken to Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj for treatment.

According to Bikram, Rai accused him of stealing money (Rs2000) and pounded him with a pipe. Bikram’s body is covered with scars, black and blue marks and swellings. Rai used to torture the boy before as well, and one time, Rai even stroke him with a khukuri.

Rai also used to kick Bikram on his head almost everyday.

However, wife of former minister Rai, Deepa has taken the responsibility of beating. “I beat the boy, with stick. Sir does not beat him, he loves the boy so much.” She also accused the boy of stealing the money. “Rs2000 was lost and I thought the boy stole it, so I thrashed him,” said Deepa. She added, “If I knew that this incident would be covered by media, I would not have done this.”

According to Bikram, former minister Rai used to drink alcohol and used to make him stand guard. “He drinks Royal Stag till 1 AM in the morning, he asks for ice, or water or glass. If I fell asleep, he would kick me and wake me up.”

Wife of former minister Rai, Deepa, also used to beat the boy. She used to wake him up as early as 4 AM in the morning and make him sweep the floor and wash the dishes. He had to wash clothes, wash dishes and bring vegetables from the market

Deepa had brough Birkam from her maternal home from Ranke of Ilam some seven months ago. Deepa’s mother convinced Birkam’s father that the minister’s family would take care of his studies.

Bikram is currently taking a refuge at CWIN (Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Centre). He is still afraid that the former minister will find him and take him back. “I want to go back to my home, but my step mom beats me as well.”

What will happen?

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