A freelance make-up artiste has come out with a series of videos on TikTok claiming that she was drugged and raped when she was 16-years-old.
She retold her horrifying story of being sexually exploited via the videos on her TikTok account on the night of May 18, which were later posted on her Instagram account after her TikTok account was banned.
Recalling the incident that took place in 2014, she said on her social media, "It first started in 2014."
"I wanted to be a model so after my 12th, I got a call from a photographer of a quite known online media house for a photoshoot.
Later on they urged me to participate in a beauty pageant since I did have a history of participating in such events. So I did. Our choreographer was a past Miss Nepal, very renowned," she says.
After the event, the survivor mentions being invited to a success party where she was served a drug-laced lemonade and then assaulted by the organiser in a hotel room.
The abuser, after the incident, threatened her to leak her pictures and videos, and the abuse further continued for six months.
"Maybe it was my fault," she starts tearing up in the videos. "At least that's what I thought after the incident."
When she couldn't take it anymore, and shared her trauma with her then boyfriend, they decided to go to the abuser's consultancy office where he was exposed in front of the staff, and in presence of the photographer and the second runner-up from the pageant.
"We made him delete all the photos and the videos from that night."
"I called our choreographer from the pageant and told her everything in hopes that she would understand and help me. But she said that being raped was my problem and not hers. I was heartbroken. She was 33 at that time, an adult, and I was just 16. She made me feel like my trauma was nothing," she recounts.
The survivor mentions that despite the incident she did not give up on her aspirations to be a model which led her to another modelling agency, located in Dillibazar, where she was sexually assaulted again by a man, in the name of taking measurements.
"By this point I was so traumatised that my body's only response was to freeze. This cemented in my belief that the entire entertainment industry is the same so I gave up on my dream and joined a college to study IT."
In one of the video, she talks about the series of emotional and physical abuses she then faced at the hands of, co-workers, even her partners, one after the other. "I thought I had really escaped this horror after giving up on working in the entertainment industry. Clearly not," her voice thick with emotion at this point in the videos.
"I have spent a lot of money on therapy, and on recovering after my attempts to take my life. My mental health has been affected so much at this point. Today I have finally decided to share my story and lighten this burden in my heart. Running away from my trauma has not helped me heal, hopefully this will."
While many viewers of her posts were insisting that the survivor should file a report, advocate Anita Thapaliya, President of Legal Aid and Consultancy Centre (LACC), explained, "Our law has a time limitation for such cases. If a minor is a victim of such cases, they have a year from their eighteenth birthday to file a case. If the victim is not a minor, they have only a year to report their case to the police. This is a very sad situation, and we have even submitted a writ to rewrite this law. There is no time limit set for cases where people can claim their right to property, but our law has set limitation for complaining against rapist."
And in a new video posted at around 7:30 pm on May 19, Sushmita is seen breaking down as she expresses her unawareness regarding the statute of limitations of one year when filing complaint against rape cases.
Advocate Thapaliya also encouraged people to ask the Law Commission to amend this law as various laws are in the process of amendment.
In the videos, it was further shared that the sexual assault survivor had called on various people for help.
Since a lot of names of people who were aware about the situation have come up, including her co-winners in Miss Globe International 2014, the HR (identity not disclosed by Sushmita) of SB Technology in Tinkune, and her ex-boyfriends, Thapaliya shared, "The people who were aware of this horrific incident but did not choose to help the victim in any way would be considered as helping the abuser. As a citizen, it is everyone's duty to stand by what is right, so the enablers will also get half of the punishment that the prime abuser gets. In case of minors, they get counselled and rehabilitated."
"However, in this case, it is difficult to get even the rapist punished, let alone the enablers."
Dinesh Mainali, Spokesperson of Nepal Police, stated that they can begin investigation only if the victim files a report.
And while the survivor, in her initial videos posted on her TikTok account did not wish to expose the names of people involved as she deleted all evidence back in 2018, through a series of Instagram stories the identity of the alleged rapist and organiser of the beauty pageant was revealed as one Manoj Pandey. Manoj Pandey runs Model Global Visas Consultancy in Kathmandu - the consultancy's website, all social media pages have been 'taken down' since the news of Pandey's abuse surfaced.
One Instagram user speculated the photographer to be Shreedhar Poudel, who has denied these allegations in a Facebook post.
Denying the allegations in his Facebook post, Poudel has stated he was called to click the survivor's photos by Pandey. He has also written, "I have already clarified where I have been involved in this case, yet if someone tries to defame me, I will be forced to opt for legal actions."
The remaining people - the choreographer of the pageant who the 16-year-old had called asking for help was revealed to be former Miss Nepal Malvika Subba, and the other two participants to be emcee Nisha Pathak and actress Archana Panthi. Sushmita also revealed her ex-boyfriends, men that further exploited her trauma, to be Anish Tiwari, Sushil Khadka and Ajeeb Rimal in her posts.
She has since also revealed the picture of the co-worker at SB Technology who had abused her, on Instagram.
Following the posts on her social media, Subba, who is seen in various events advocating for women's rights, posted an apology on her Instagram account claiming to step away from all the platforms on feminism and sexual violence till the survivor heals - a receipt of acknowledgement that the latter had indeed called her, and that Subba failed her.
Subba has kept the comment section of the 'apology post' limited, which now show only messages of support, solidarity and 'acceptance of apology' by her friends, well-wishers.
Many people have also called on everyone to shift their focus from Subba to the perpetrators.
Two other people that abuse victim told her story to were her co-winners in the Miss Globe International 2014 pageant - Pathak and Panthi.
The title Winner Pathak later took to her Instagram story and wrote, "IF YOU WERE NA- IVE AND KID, DON'T FORGET WE WERE OF SAME AGE... I don't think clarification is necessary because I know I did nothing wrong! (sic)". Pathak also wrote, "If you were KID and NAIVE and INNOCENT we weren't MATURED enough to handle everything like a PRO but we were there anytime you asked for! (sic)"
Meanwhile the second runner-up has chosen to remain silent publicly, but according to a screenshot posted by the survivor she replied with an apology to the former's messages.
In solidarity with the survivor and to demand action against the perpetrators, an 'Occupy Baluwatar' call has been given out on social media platforms calling on all to gather in front of the Prime Minister's residence in Baluwatar at 9:00 am on May 20.