‘Minister’s adviser’ held for minor’s rape

Kathmandu, February 26

Police have arrested Amrit Kumar Ghale, who allegedly used to introduce himself as the economic adviser to Urban Development State Minister Rambir Manandhar, on charges of kidnapping, hostage-taking and raping a 17-year-old girl.

The 52-year-old was arrested on February 13 after the parents of the underage girl informed the police about the crime. Nepal Police had kept the complaint under wraps till today. It did not say why it was not included in regular police bulletins or why it was not disclosed earlier.

The victim, a Grade XII student residing in Kathmandu, had first met Ghale in Banepa, around 20 km east of Kathmandu, on February 10. She had stopped there for lunch. Ghale was passing by and had offered to drop her in Kathmandu. The victim, who lives with her elder sister and her husband in Kathmandu, was returning from her hometown in Sindhuli, where Ghale is well known.

Once in Kathmandu, Ghale kept the victim captive in his rented apartment in Tokha for four days. In the first information report submitted to the police, the victim has accused Ghale of raping her multiple times when she was held captive. On the fourth day, the victim somehow managed to call her brother in-law using Ghale’s phone and informed him about the ordeal. The victim’s brother-in-law then informed the police.

A special taskforce comprising six police officers then tracked the phone call and traced the location of the house where the victim was held captive. They also arrested Ghale from the house.

“Ghale befriended the victim on the way and promised to help her migrate to the US. He even promised to support her education,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Hobindra Bogati at Metropolitan Police Range, Teku, said. The wife and children of Ghale, a permanent resident of Chitwan, who also owns a house in Kathmandu, reside in the US.

“They stopped over at a couple of restaurants on their way to Kathmandu,” MPR head Senior Superintendent of Police Uttam Raj Subedi said.

The girl was taken to the hospital for a medical check-up after she formally lodged an FIR.

Minister Manandhar, meanwhile, told THT over the phone that he had no professional relationship with Ghale.