Khasokhas Condemns Arrest Warrant for Lawyer Bhagwati Pandey

Khasokhas, a Nepali diaspora’s voice in New York since 2012, has strongly condemned the arrest warrant issued to lawyer Bhagwati Pandey “Sheetal” for speaking about the issue of marriage between first cousins in a television interview.

Pandey is the legal advisor of Khasokhas Nepal edition. In the interview, she discussed the various research and studies that have shown that marriage between first cousins can have negative consequences for the health of children. She also apologized to any community that may have been offended by her comments.

However, the arrest warrant was issued by a court in Nepal’s Bagmati Province, and Pandey is now facing charges of inciting hatred against a particular community.

Host Dikpal Karki and Lawyer Sheetal Pandey engaged in a lively discussion during the television talk show “Chiya Guff.”

Khasokhas has called the arrest warrant a “serious violation of freedom of expression” and said that it is “deeply disturbing” that Pandey is being targeted for speaking out about an important issue.

“We believe that everyone has the right to express their views, even if those views are controversial,” said Khasokhas editor-in-chief Kishor Panthi. “We will continue to defend the right to freedom of expression and call on the authorities to drop the charges against Pandey immediately.”

The research on the effects of marriage between first cousins is clear. Studies have shown that children born to first-cousin parents are more likely to have birth defects, mental retardation, and other health problems.

In Nepal, there is a long tradition of marriage between first cousins. However, in recent years, there has been growing awareness of the negative consequences of this practice.