KATHMANDU, Dec 13: More than a year after a woman was gang-raped and left for dead in Godavari-1, Godamchaur of Lalitpur, police on Wednesday finally arrested two of the three alleged perpetrators behind the incident.
A special team from the Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD) arrested Bishaldhwaj Karki, 21, and Pawan Kunwar, 21, from their residences in Godamchaur at about 2 pm on Wednesday. The arrests took place 11 months after Patan High Court ordered the police to arrest the suspects for investigation. Before the court's order, all three accused in the rape had been released on bail.
The victim's family, who learnt about the arrests on Wednesday evening, expressed happiness over the development. Urmila Pokahrel, the mother of the victim, told Republica that the arrests have revived her hope of getting justice.
“Even though the arrests came more than a year after the incident, we are happy about it,” she said. She claimed that all the three people accused of the crime are the real culprits.
“My daughter has recorded her statement about the incident to the police and identified the perpetrators,” she said, “It is only a matter of time before they will be proven guilty.”
Police have claimed they could not arrest the suspects immediately after the incident because they were in hiding in India. Chief of MPCD Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dhiraj Pratap Singh said, “We could not nab the suspects since they were in hiding in India and in Kathmandu. We made the arrest on Wednesday based on a special tip-off.” He added that the third suspect Raghu Silwal was not found at his residence in Godamchaur.
The victim's family said that the police had increased vigilance around their residence and the residences of the accused after the Lalitpur High Court ordered the arrests. “However, we had to reach the Metropolitan Police Office in Satdobato constantly to heap pressure on the police,” Pokharel said, adding, "Police vigilance finally worked."
The Godamchaur rape case had drawn the attention of the entire nation after the victim was kidnapped by a gang of three while on her way home from work on November 18, 2017. The victim, a married woman, went missing at around 7 pm that evening and was found in critical condition the next morning. After the rape, the culprits had hit her with a stone and left for dead.