Syringe attacks: Crime for all to see but criminals, nobody knows

Police cautions, 'Don't panic.'

Gajendra Basnet

June 23, 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Syringe attacks: Crime for all to see but criminals, nobody knows
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KATHMANDU: Last few weeks were strange, surreal and weird for denizens in Kathmandu who woke up in the morning to either hear of a syringe attack on others to face the specter of it or face the attack in real. Women, in particular, have been living in a state of trepidation. Nepal Police have been receiving reams of complaints regarding ‘syringe attack’ particularly targeted against women/girls. Over the period of the last two weeks, unknown attackers charged on five different women with a syringe attack in separate incidents in Kathmandu. Nepal Police received the complaints mentioning the attack.

A young woman, 23, was leisurely strolling with her pet dog at around 10 pm on June 1, 2019 probably after taking dinner. Just then a motorcycle-borne unknown man pierced her belly with a syringe and absconded immediately. She was found to be profusely bleeding when she returned home.

Incident Number 2: It was 10 pm on June 15, 2019. Again the syringe attack was hurled at two sisters aged 25 and 32 in Paknajol, Kathmandu. This incident again like the previous one happened from behind using the motorcycle once again. Both the sisters thought that they have been slightly hit by speeding motorcycle racing from behind but later they discovered after reaching home that they have fallen victim to syringe attack. Attackers once again could not be traced and those who were attacked in both the incidents received the treatment in Shukraraj Tropical and Contagious Disease Cure Hospital, Teku.

Similar incidents of ‘syringe attack’ happened after a couple of days. Metropolitan Police Beat Swyambhu received the complaints in this regard two days before only. According to DSP Laldhwaj Suvedi, In-charge of the Swayambhu Police Beat, a young woman strolling with her husband was pierced by a syringe in one case while one unmarried young woman was walking with her friends was attacked with a syringe on her soldier by a motorcyclist.

In this way, five different women were targeted by syringe at four different places of Kathmandu. There is a strong fear among those attacked that attackers are looking for spreading some kind of infectious diseases by creating potential vectors in them to turn it into some kind of epidemic in Kathmandu or the entire country. Though nothing for sure can be ascertained as to what exactly it was in order to attack these women, it was something like a needle and most probably a syringe.

Dr. Anoop Bastola, the spokesman of Shukraraj Tropical and Contagious Disease Cure Hospital, shows his apprehension: ”These attacks involving a needle or a syringe strongly indicate towards the intention of spreading infectious and contagious diseases.”

“There was an incident before these serial attacks we are witnessing now. We vaccinated the victim immediately after the attack for preventing him from any possible infection or contagious disease,” adds Dr. Bastola. SSP Uttamraj Subedi, in-charge of Metropolitan Police Beat Teku, confirms that police investigation has been initiated on this matter on the basis of CCTV footage. According to him, there is a pattern in recent incidents of syringe attacks as all of them have taken place in the locality of Kalimati-Dhalku area of Kathmandu during the late evening from 9 to 10 pm. There is one more commonality in these incidents as motorcycle-borne criminal came from behind to pierce the sharp conical object on these women, explains SSP Uttamraj Subedi. He raises the suspicion further about the exact weapon used to attack the women. Subedi says, ”We are still working to find out if it was really a needle used in a syringe or something else.” ”We are confident that criminals will be in our net”, assures Subedi.

Whatever the object used in these attacks may be, a wild rumor is taking round in Kathmandu at the moment that it is syringe only which indeed has been used to attack the women. Denizens of Kathmandu are living under constant fear as to who will be the next one to be attacked. It may be anyone. It is urgently required of Nepal Police and medical professionals to know everything regarding these attacks being referred to as ‘syringe attack’.

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