Police investigate alleged rape of minor

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Punakha police is investigating an alleged rape of a nine-year old girl after the incident was reported to them on October 6 by the victim’s mother.

The victim’s mother found out about it only after the victim complained of stomach pain and when she was taken to Wangduephodrang district hospital on October 6 for a medical checkup.

In connection to the case, the Punakha police have detained a 72-year old man. The suspect is a neighbor and farmer by occupation. The suspect is from Punakha.

The suspect was arrested on the same day after the incident was reported to police and detained on the same night for further investigation. However, it was learnt that the suspect denied the allegations despite the circumstantial evidences.

During the preliminary investigation, some incriminating photos related to the case were obtained from the suspect’s phone.

In a statement to the police it was disclosed by the victim’s mother to police that the suspect had been sexually assaulting the victim multiple times since last year.

The victim is a class II student and also from Punakha.

Meanwhile the police have registered the case to this effect as a statutory Rape and the case is under investigation.

According to the Penal Code (Amendment) Act of Bhutan 2011, the section 181 states that a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of statutory rape, if the defendant engages in any act of sexual intercourse whatever its nature with a child below twelve years, or an incompetent person, either with or without knowledge of the other person being a child or incompetent person.

The amended section 182 states that the offence of statutory rape shall be an offence of a felony of a first degree felony.

First degree felonies are punishable by prison terms of 15 years to life. Since January till October 7, Punakha police recorded two cases of rape of child above 12 years and three cases of rape of a child below 12 years.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu

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