The Rape Case of Sushmita Regmi - Explained

Sushmita Regmi Rape case Malvika Subba
Sushmita Regmi storytelling the rape case, via Tiktok videos, while she was just 16 years old

The rise of Sushmita Regmi's case

The rape case of Ms Sushmita Regmi got into media limelight in the third week of May 2022 after the victim, out of nowhere, uploaded twenty short videos in Tiktok from the username @Sushikhanajaneho. The same Tiktok videos are also uploaded in her Instagram handle: @allaboutdewyskin on 18th May 2022.

Who is Sushmita Regmi?

According to her social media profile she likes to call herself as a freelancing makeup artist. Since childhood she wanted to be a model. So, during her teenage years when she was 16, she participated in one of the beauty pageants called 'Miss Grand International 2014' and became the first runner up (second position). She studied BSc Computer Science and Information Technology (CSIT) and now (as of 2022 May) doing her Masters of Arts in Psychology.  

Who Raped Sushmita Regmi?

The above discussed beauty pageant was organized by the Model Global Visas Consultancy, Bhakti Thapa Sadak, Kathmandu in the year 2014. While she declines to give the names of any of her predators, it is known that Manoj Pandey is the very promoter of the same consultancy and he was the one who called Sushmita Regmi after the pageant and said to come at Hotel Everest, Baneshwore, for the success party of the same beauty event where she was the first runner up. After Sushmita reached Hotel Everest in ecstasy and saw no one except Manoj, she asked where were everybody else. Mr. Pandey said that the party was deemed to be started after 6PM and told Sushmita to take rest and have a lemonade. She drank the lemonade that they served and was drowsy after sometimes.

Where was Sushmita Regmi raped?

The story is continuing from above. Mr. Pandey told that this was okay with the girls to feel tipsy sometimes and also told that was why he had reserved hotel rooms at the Hotel Everest so that girls could get rest whenever needed. She was taken in one of the rooms and was raped when she was only half-conscious due to the effect of something they mixed up in the lemonade. They might have used sedatives in it. When her consciousness returned, she noticed that she and Mr Manoj were lying on bed, stark-naked. Mr Manoj offered Sushmita with NPR 20K and made her guilty by saying that she was the one who was begging for sex so that she could bag some money. Moreover, Mr Manoj also warned Sushmita not to tell the incident to anybody or else he would divulge her photos and videos that he had shot while she was sleeping with him. Out of fear, she could tell the incident to nobody and the process went on for over six months.

Who was the culprit photographer?

Mr Manoj would call Sushmita whenever he wanted to have sex. There was one photographer as well who was involved in the pageant and was a close friend of Mr Manoj Pandey. The photographer took modeling photos of Sushmita Regmi. When the incidents of rape was continuing for over a semester, Mr Manoj would also allow his photographer friend Mr Shreedhar Poudel to come by and have sex with her. Mr Shreedhar Poudel is the photo-journalist for Shukrabar, a weekly portal of Nagarik news group. He also works in various online media. That was why Sushmita was afraid that they would leak her photos in the public domain.

How is Malvika Subba associated in this case?

The early said beauty pageant was choreographed by Malvika Subba where she tutored 25 contestants, one of them being Sushmita Regmi. After six months of those continuing multiple rape events, Sushmita Regmi told her boyfriend Mr x Khadka. They (Sushmita and Mr x Khadka) went to Model Global Visas Consultancy and brought the case open to all the staffers. Mr Khadka also slapped Manoj Pandey and had the photos/videos deleted from his cellphone. The same day, at the same moment, Sushmita called Malvika for help. While Malvika's side of the story is different, according to Sushmita Regmi, Malvika fluffily quipped that it was her problem and not Malvika's and shortly she dismissed the call. Malvika asserts that she did not dismissed the call in such a bleak ignorance as Sushmita portrayed and that, even though she forgot the details, the word 'rape' was not mentioned in the call because if it was mentioned she would have taken it very seriously and act promptly on resolving the issue.

Malvika Subba was the role model of Sushmita Regmi and she looked up to her in a hope that she would do something to rescue her out of the melancholy. Sushmita presumes that Malvika, as a feminist and famed media influencer, would have saved her right then and right there but unfortunately it did not happen and Sushmita suffered long years of perturbation and mental afflictions. More, even today when Sushmita sees Malvika on TV shows or papers, it triggers her depression, as claimed on her videos. Malvika has begged apologies and has promised that she would not occupy any media space until Sushmita says so or do whatever is needed to give Sushmita justice.

What Next?

After the videos caught media sensation, youths gather around in Baluwatar Prime Minister's abode, Maitighar and even few places outside Kathmandu valley to protest for the justice of Sushmita Regmi and to penalize the sexual predators. The issue was raised in the parliament too by Nepali Congress CA member Mr Gagan Thapa and consequently, chairperson Agni Kharel relegated the government to take necessary actions for the case. Minister of Home Affairs Honorable Balkrishna Khand formed a four member investigation committee to solve the case and Mr Manoj Pandey has been arrested from Swayambhu on 21st May 2022 to start over the investigation. Various advocates have suggested that there is a legal hurdle in order to criminalize Mr Pandey because the victim of sexual harassment and abuse should report to the police within one year of the incidence. Now, with the Sushmita Regmi case, it can be predicted that the 'one-year' time limit would be wiped out. The correction to the old act is due to Parliament saying "If there are substantial grounds to support that the victim could not report to the police at the time of incidence and beyond, then the case can be filed at anytime appropriate later on." This is a very big move indeed. 

Lessons from this case

Lesson number one: everybody wants to be famous and really a few are prepared to handle the image, personality and stardom after getting the popularity. In today's era of Tiktok and all, it takes only a fluke of a few seconds to be a media sensation that makes you a celebrity. There were high chances of being sexually harassed on the process of being a celebrity but the chances are even higher today to keep being one. So the event should warn all the parents to assure a safe environment for their children until they cross a legal age. Rape and harassment are really present, and it is there. The problem is that we don't see it now. See, Sushmita speaks out after 8 goddam years. There might be some daughters out there who will speak after another eight.  

Lesson number two: Look at us now where we are standing. The twenty-first century has really equipped us with the internet and social media and these are so very powerful tools to convey your message to the mass and bring about changes overnight. A short video can provoke people to go for a mass protest, criminalize the culprits, give justice to the victims and amend the laws eventually. Is not this so beautiful? If you have the right cause, you can do it all by yourself!

Lesson number three: the news really flushes out the dark and bitter reality of various so-called beauty pageants open. Beauty pageants starts from school days nowadays and glamour field is so deeply penetrated to our lifestyle as culture that we seem to be okay with it. A very few seem to raise voices about the critical aspects: the licensure, monitoring, social audit, freedom of speech of the contestants, etc,. Also, once you are the winner, you should keep in mind that it is not easy to maintain the crown and this responsibility is for a lifetime. For example, let's try to look at this case from Malvika's perspectives, she won Miss Nepal long ago. Since she is now a well-known media personality and a sex violence proponent, she might be contacted by a large number of girls every now and then intimating that they are being sexually assaulted. She should not dismiss a single case or else, there is a high possibility that another Sushmita will come out in the open, dissatisfied and outraged. Malvika is now seen so very publicly criticized for not being able to rescue the poor girl. She has even issued many pages of clarification on the situation. So, it is very difficult to maintain the responsibility of being a celebrity, especially when you are the heart and role model of many wannabe beauty pageant winners. 

Post a Comment