Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara has been accused of raping a woman working at the federal parliament secretariat on Sunday.
The woman has claimed an inebriated Mahara reached her rented apartment in Tinkune with a bottle of whiskey when there was no one else in the apartment Sunday night and raped her.
Setopati has acquired an audio recording of the woman accusing Mahara of raping her. She says Mahara, who had also come to her rented apartment earlier, phoned her and said he will come there.
The woman reveals her husband, who was in Tanahu on Sunday, is also in a health organization and with the ruling CPN.
She says she asked Mahara to come without drinking if he has to come. But he turned up inebriated and carrying a bottle of whiskey at eight in the evening. He came on a blue vehicle keeping the security downstairs.
She claims that Mahara started drinking in the apartment and also forced her to drink. He raped her as he got inebriated further. "I told him he cannot get away. I will call police. I dragged him till the gate and started shouting thief," the woman says in the audio. "The landlords asked what happened and I said Speaker Mahara. They took me inside and said don't talk now and let's talk tomorrow.
She reveals the stuffs in her apartment are scattered while dragging Mahara. "The vegetables have been spilled. Police came and clicked photographs. They also filmed a video with the mobile phone."
She claims that Mahara texted 'hi' sometime after raping her Sunday night and texted a good morning message Monday morning. "He has told me to not bring the incident outside. He has asked me to forget what happened yesterday. I have told him I am silent due to his prestige and he has been making many calls."
"I have said what I have to. I have told him either he is finished or I am," she says in the audio.
She states that not just the women but even men have prestige. "How can we make those who punches us big? A person who is like a guardian does this. They covered up Nirmala (Panta) case (rape and murder case). They will also cover this up."
The incident was first reported by hamrakura.com on Monday. The woman has claimed Mahara raped her even while talking with Hamrakura Editor Ajay Babu Shiwakoti
A police source confirmed with Setopati that a woman phoned Sunday night complaining of rape. A team from Metropolitan Police Circle, New Baneshwore immediately reached the woman's apartment in Tinkune. "The woman told the police team that Speaker Mahara raped her. She showed the room to the police. There were a bottle of whiskey, glass, and scattered clothes," the source added. "She also showed bruises on her body saying she was beaten by Mahara."
The police then urged her to lodge a complaint at the Police Circle. "She said she will come tomorrow and the police team returned. But she did not come to the police on Monday," the source revealed. "Her phone was off when the police tried to reach to her."
The source claimed that there is no pressure on the police despite the accused being Speaker Mahara. "We will initiate investigation if the woman comes to the police and lodges a complaint."
The Nepal Police has already briefed the Home Ministry about the rape allegations against Mahara. Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa and Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai have already talked with the police leadership on the issue.
"There seems to be serious problems for Speaker Mahara in this case. The case may move forward by tomorrow," a Home Ministry source said late Monday night.
The secretariat of Speaker Mahara, meanwhile, has refuted what it calls an unimaginable allegation. Issuing a statement Monday night, Mahara's press advisor Dilli Malla has called the allegations groundless, imaginary and very serious.
"The Speaker misbehaving with anyone as mentioned in news reports cannot even be imagined. I want to inform all the media and journalist friends that there is no truth in the efforts of character assassination citing the said incident on Sunday," the statement reads.
"Speaker was at his office in Singha Durbar at Sunday noon. He returned to his residence in Baluwatar at around two in the afternoon. I want to make it clear through this statement that he did not go anywhere else after that."
The statement claims that the woman and other staffers were demanding that there should be vacancy for health section at the parliament secretariat. They were unhappy that Speaker did not do anything about integration of the staffers saying the General Administration Ministry and Health Ministry looks after the vacancies. "The Speaker is very sad and surprised that blatantly wrong, imaginary and false news reports about him have been disseminated owing to that dissatisfaction," the statement claims.
"This is a conspiracy done in a well-planned manner to finish the political height, personality and dignity of Speaker. This cannot be pardoned wherever it may have been done from. A puppet has been created and efforts been made to socially defame him after failing to harm his political personality and image through any other means," the statement alleges.