Three arrested on charge of gang rape

Kathmandu, September 18

Despite nationwide campaign by women’s rights activists and stern provisions against rapists in the Criminal Code Act, incidents of rape continue to shock the country and devastate lives of the victims and their families.

At a time when the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta, and the government’s failure to bring to book the perpetrators even after nearly two months of the crime has brought shame to the nation, a 21-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped in Kathmandu.

Superintendent of Police Ram Dutta Joshi said a special team deployed from Kalimati-based Metropolitan Police Circle raided a hotel in Bhimdhunga and arrested Arjun Lama, 39, Surya Rana, 33, and Ramkrishna Nagarkoti, 40, of Nuwakot while rescuing the victim yesterday night.

According to police, Lama, who had acquaintance with the victim and her mother, had lured the woman into the hotel run by Nagarkoti and gang-raped her.

Lama used to call the victim ‘niece’ and her mother ‘sister’. The woman is also said to be partially hearing-impaired.

Police had launched a search operation to trace her whereabouts after her family lodged a ‘missing’ complaint at MPC in the morning. The woman has filed an FIR against them, saying she was gang-raped by the suspects.

Meanwhile, police said they had launched a probe into the case. As many as seven incidents of rape and eight rape attempts have been reported in Kathmandu valley since July 15 of the current fiscal.

According to statistics released by Metropolitan Police Office, police registered186 rapes such cases in the fiscal 2017-18 compared to 136 in 2016-17, an increase by 31 per cent. It shows significant increase in rape cases, making the valley a dangerous place for women and girls.

SSP Shailesh Thapa Kshetri, Nepal Police spokesperson, attribute the increase in reported rape cases to more victims coming forward due to greater public awareness.