Layer between the hills around the Kathmandu valley, the lush green landscape around the capital of Nepal belies a disturbing debate taking place in the country about the safety of women and children.
Although India has taken international headlines in recent years after a growing number of violent sexual assaults, a similar trend is emerging in Nepal, the smaller neighbor in the north.
A recently published police report showed that 1480 cases of rape were reported last year in Nepal, almost double the number for 2016, many of whom think they have not been reported.
The rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta four weeks ago has ravaged Nepalese law groups and shocked the country. The teenager reportedly went to a friend's house in Kanchanpur in western Nepal to do her homework, but was later found dead in a sugar cane field halfway between her house and her house, 1 km away.
A 41-year-old convicted murderer has been charged with the crime and two women whose home has visited the teenager that night have been arrested. But when the police presented the prime suspect last week, presumably a "mentally unstable" man, the locals were furious, claiming he was not the attacker and that the police had invented a cover-up.
The alleged conspiracy then caused violent protests in Kanchanpur that last Friday shot a 17-year-old boy shot by police and wounded 24 people. The army has since introduced night time lanes in various local districts, because the tensions remain high.
Protests have spread to Kathmandu, where several hundred people gathered in the monsoon rain on 25 August. Some scenes of attacks on women were repeated to emphasize the shocking violence.
"There must be two levels of interventions to deal with cases of rape and sexual violence," politician and former BBC journalist Rabindra Mishra told local media. "[The] The first level of intervention must be carried out at the level of government and politics, and secondly at the level of the citizens. "
Reports of violent sexual attacks against women and children are increasingly common in Nepal. The gruesome rape and subsequent death of a six-year-old girl in 2015 was one of the first incidents to emphasize which rights groups have called an emerging epidemic, an event for which justice is rarely seen.
Reports of violent attacks on women across the country are now included in local newspapers such as the Kathmandu Post and Himalayan Times almost every day.
Despite a billions of euro tourism sector focused on trekking and mountaineering, Nepal remains one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in Asia. The earthquake in April 2015, killing nearly 9,000 people, destroyed millions of homeless people and half of the country's gross domestic product.
At the same time, considerable progress has been made in the rights of women in recent years. A third of the seats in the higher and lower government houses, as well as political party membership, is reserved for women, and about 14,000 women were elected last year in local municipalities in Nepal.
Bidhya Devi Bhandari has returned for a second term as Nepalese president, a largely ceremonial post last March. She made one Forbes magazine list of the most powerful women in the world in 2016. Last year, the banning of menstruating women to huts, a practice called chhaupadiwas forbidden. A rape conviction now has a prison sentence of 20 years.
Patriarchal and feudal
And yet such advances remain in what has been a deeply patriarchal and feudal society for centuries, faced with stiff cultural opposition. Discrimination against women is widespread, with Nepal ranked at the World Economic Summit behind Swaziland and Tajikistan Global gender gap report for 2017.
Nearly 45 percent of Nepalese women are considered illiterate (far more than Nepalese men), while according to the Himalayan Times, maternal mortality is 258 per 100,000 live births. By comparison, India is 174 while in Europe it is 16 per 100,000 live births.
Despite the ban on chhaupadiIn January, a 21-year-old woman from a rural area of Nepal died of suspected smoke inhalation after being forced to sleep in a cabin.
Last week the municipality in Kanchanpur paid the equivalent of € 2,270 to the grieving family of Nirmala Panta. (Relatives of the boy shot by the police during the protest received a similar amount as compensation.)
Only four days after her murder on 27 July, Panta was cremated on the banks of the remote Mahakali River by a small group of relatives. A police escort was watching.
The fear and expectation in Nepal, because it is struggling on many fronts, is that the tragic murder of the teenager will not be the last to get the headlines.