KATHMANDU, Jan 23: Singer Astha Raut will be apprehended if she refuses to cooperate with the police organization, said Nepal Police Spokesperson DIG Sailesh Thapa Chhetri.
District Administration Office Kathmandu has issued an arrest warrant against Raut for her “indecent behavior” with a woman airport security officer and the use of “derogatory language” toward the police organization.
The arrest warrant came after the “victim” constable Ramita Shrestha filed a complaint of “misconduct” against her at the Metropolitan Police Range.
“The behavior she showed to an on-duty police officer is regarded as an offense by the law. A policewoman also has the right to seek justice. She has filed a complaint against Raut.”
“We are not planning to arrest Raut. But, she must to come to a realization and establish an understanding with the victim policewoman.”
“The process has been forwarded because Raut, as an artist, failed to show politeness toward an airport security officer.”
Raut, while heading to Sikkim from Bharatpur, had uploaded a self-recorded video on social networks slamming the police organization for their “rude” behavior toward an artist. She had called the “lower-ranked police officers” as “uncivilized”, “lacking respect” and accused Shrestha of “misbehaving and abusing her” at the domestic terminal.
Two days later, a CCTV footage of the security check at the domestic terminal of the TIA surfaced in social media which showed a confrontation between singer Raut and officer Shrestha.
In the video, security officer Shrestha asks is seen asking Raut, as she approaches, to take her jacket off first before entering the X-ray scanner. But Raut gets through ignoring the officer’s request and starts talking with Shrestha. According to Raut’s video, she had asked Shrestha to let her through because she was in a hurry.
But Shrestha stops Raut and instructs her to go back and remove her jacket while also seizing the coffee glass she is carrying in her right hand, it is when Raut loses her cool. After the security check, Shrestha tells Raut to take her coffee with her but Raut refuses to do so resulting in a confrontation between the two.
It is still unknown who leaked the CCTV footage of such a highly sensitive area, but many have assumed that police deliberately leaked the video to counter Raut’s video comments and protect the department’s image.
Spokesperson Chhetri said the police are investigation over the footage leak but defended it saying the CCTV footage clearly showed what happened at the airport.
“It was not necessary to leak the video though,” he said.
“To my knowledge, no officer of Nepal Police leaked the video.”
“Moreover, no hot beverages are allowed to carry with.”
According to Chhetri, the preliminary investigation found “not more fault” in Shrestha’s behavior.
“We have not yet concluded that Raut’s behavior toward Shrestha was a form of misconduct. But, to further the investigation and arrive at a conclusion, we are required to interrogate Raut first. For that, Raut must come in contact with the police,” he said.
“If the victim policewoman becomes ready to apologize, the circumstance could change.”
“The police are conducting a fair investigation into the case.”
“If she does not contact the police and refuses to cooperate, we might have to detain her.”
“And, even after the investigation, there is also a probability she could get arrested if proved guilty.”
According to the police, Raut has violated Section 118 of Criminal Code 2074 (2017) which states that no one should enter and misbehave anyone in a public place or at a place where entry is legally prohibited.
If found guilty of the offense, one could face a sentence up to one year in jail and Rs10,000 fine.
Raut is reported to be in Sikkim at present. She is known for her superhits Saal ko Pata Tapari, Maya Yo Maya and Chaubandi Ma Patuki.