LAHAN, Dec 5: Case 1, November 4: Two young girls aged 16 and 20 became victims of gang rape at Bhotiyatole of Lahan Municipality-11 when they accepted a birthday party invitation from an acquaintance.
The girls were picked from their home in the evening by two men sent by the acquaintance purportedly for taking them to the party venue. But they took the girls to a mango orchard at Bhotiyatole, where five other men were waiting for them. The seven of them repeatedly gang-raped the victims from Patari of Laxmipur.
The 20-year-old girl managed to escape at 10 pm and reached the nearest village and informed the locals. The villagers then informed the Area Police Office, Lahan.
By the time police reached the incident site, the perpetrators had already fled. The other victim was rescued by the police at midnight.
As per the statement given by the two victims, Harikanta Chaudhary of Lahan-11 had sent Anish Chaudhary and Sunil Chaudhary of his village to bring the girls. The victims had known Harikanta since the past two years.
Police suspect that the seven rapists have fled to the other side of the border. They have not returned home since then.
Case 2, November 13
A 26-year-old woman of Sukhipar Municipality-2 was gang-raped by four men of her village during the second day of the Chhath festival. In retaliation, she managed to bite a finger of two men but they overpowered her. She screamed for help but the villagers did not hear her due to the loud music during the festival.
The villagers came to know about the incident only on the next day. All of them made a collective effort to find the rapists. Two days after the incident, they captured and handed over Mohammad Samshul, 30, and Isaraful Miya to the police. The other two rapists are still at large.
Police are helpless to go after the other two as they have taken refuge across the border in India.
Number of criminals fleeing to India increases
In Siraha, 29 rape cases have been registered in the current fiscal year. Ten of the accused are still at large and are likely to have taken refuge in India to avoid prosecution. Police have deployed informants to get clue about them.
In Province 2, as many as 120 rape cases have been registered during the first five months of the current fiscal year, according to Provincial Police Office. A total of 103 accused have been arrested in those cases. Likewise, the office has received 62 complaints of attempted rape in which 43 people have been arrested.
Provincial Police Office Spokesperson Dan Bahadur Thapa informed that cases of rape and attempted rape have increased of late. He informed that over 25 people accused of rape are still at large and are likely to have fled to India.
Not just people committing rape but also those accused of committing other types of crimes have been increasingly fleeing to India. Nepal Police is clueless about the whereabouts of many criminals. But it is apparent that India is becoming a safe haven for those committing serious crimes in Nepal.
Police say criminals from the Tarai-Madhes areas, including Siraha, Saptari, Dhanusha, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Bara and Rautahat among other places have been hiding in Indian villages.
“By the time we reach the incident site, the criminals often flee across the border. The open border regime has made it easy for criminals to enter India. It becomes difficult for us to get information after they cross the border,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Madhavraj Kharel, spokesperson of the District Police Office, Siraha.
Lack of reliable informants and support from the Indian security bodies have posed further problems.
Kharel said strong coordination between security bodies of both the countries is necessary to stop cross-border crimes.