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Lesbian traffic woman acquitted of abduction, sexual charges

in NEPAL, 01/06/2011

The Kathmandu District Court (KDC) on Tuesday acquitted a lesbian traffic policewoman Rubina Hussein, who was charged with abduction and sexual abuse of 17-year old Pujan Basnet. KDC Judge Lekhnath Ghimire acquitted Hussein concluding that the charges against her were false, biased and baseless.

"No documents substantiate that Hussein abducted Pujan as claimed by the latter´s family. The bench concludes that Hussein is innocent and she gets clean chit," reads the verdict.

Police had arrested Hussein nearly one-and-a-half years ago. She was also suspended from her job after she was chargesheeted at the court.

Hussein, 27, had claimed that she neither abducted Pujan nor abused Pujan sexually as claimed by the latter´s family.

"She is my live-in girlfriend; we are head over heels in love. They arrested and suspended me in a misuse of power," she had told the court and police officers after her arrest.

Pujan is a niece of Sub-Inspector Indira Basnet, who was Hussein´s boss in the traffic police.

According to Hussein, they met in May 2009 and fell in love at first sight. The woman cop said she had not imagined that her relationship would land her in a trouble.

In May 2009, Sub-Inspector Indira Basnet asked Hussein to accompany her to a temple in Hetauda where she was to sacrifice a he-goat. Basnet had also brought along her niece on the trip and that was how the two met and became friends. When their relationship developed further, the couple rented an apartment at Dhalku, Kathmandu, and started to live together.

But the liaison was cut short when the police arrested Hussein acting on a complaint by Pujan´s family that the 17-year-old had been kidnapped and abused sexually.

Homosexuality in Nepal was legalized in 2007. Hussein had claimed that the sexual relationship between them was consensual.

"There are no evidences that Pujan was kidnapped by Hussein as claimed by Pujan´s family. It is our conclusion that Pujan´s family accused Hussein of kidnapping her simply because Hussein kept Pujan without their consent. It doesn´t substantiate that Pujan was kidnapped by Hussein," reads the verdict.

The court verdict is expected to pave the way for her reinstatement and resume her duty as a traffic policewoman.

"I am very happy to know about the verdict. I was innocent and the court did justice to me. I wouldn´t have won the case, had I not received support from Blue Diamond Society and its Chairman Sunil Babu Panta," Hussein told Republica.

Hussein also termed the verdict a milestone in gender rights movement.

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