An event organized by "Chaukath" at Shantibatika, Ratnapark, was disrupted by supporters of National Vedic Sanatan Hindu Institutional Struggle Committee (Vedic Sanathan Hindu Rastriya Nepal Sansthagat Sangarsha Samiti) on Tuesday, Aug 5.
The Chaukath had organized a picnic to discuss "Women's access to security in public spaces", when the incident happened, says a press statement released by Chaukath.
Chaukath is an informal network of women analyzing various social issues through a feminist lens.
"We had no banners, slogans, or demands. Nor were we at Shanti Batika to stage a sit-in. We had informed the police of our program, too. But the struggle committee started disrupting the environment asking us to leave the area immediately. It seemed the struggle committee was determined to create a communal strife" says the press release.
“They accused the women of having gathered to preach Christian faith- calling them characterless and throwing stuff away. The tents too were uprooted and broken by the committee people.”
The statement further says: "They even threatened to kill us, wielding a full-size trident (Trishul). The situation was very tense despite the best efforts of the police team led by DSP Rajkumar Silwal. "
The women then left Shantibatika to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. The committee which has been on a relay hunger strike for some months, celebrated the exit and continued to shout threats as they left, the statement further says.
Chaukhat has strongly condemned this act saying, "No community has a monopoly over public spaces. We also urge security forces, civil society, rights activists, political parties, and the government to pay attention to this sensitive issue. Most importantly, we urge all Nepalis to stand in solidarity with each other to ensure such incidents are never again repeated."