DHANGADHI, Jan 9: It has been revealed that the incident of rape of a 77-year-old woman in Ghodaghodi Municipality-4 of Kailali was settled through a financial transaction. The rape was kept a secret with an understanding of providing Rs 300,000 to the victim in the presence of the people’s representatives and the villagers.
According to Deputy Superintendent of Police Laxman Bahadur Shahi of the Area Police Office, Sukhkhad, Prakash Subedi, 30, of Ward 4 took the 77-year-old woman to a wheat field and raped her on December 1 at around 9 PM. She was returning from her relative’s home.
He said that the clothes worn by the old woman were torn and she was injured while resisting the rape attempt. The victim’s family was put under pressure and the incident was settled with the agreement of giving Rs 300,000 to the victim in the presence of a ward member.
The incident came to light after a month as problems arose in the agreement to pay Rs 300,000 to the victim. He said that the victim's son lodged a complaint at the Area Police Office on December 26. According to DSP Shahi, out of the Rs 300,000 agreed upon, only Rs 200,000 was given to the victim's son by the perpetrators.
The victim's son has filed an FIR against nine people, including accused Subedi, eight others and a ward member. Deputy Superintendent of Police Bed Prakash Joshi, spokesperson for the Kailali District Police Office, said that the police have arrested five persons and an investigation into the matter is underway. The other four are absconding.
Among the arrested are accused Subedi, ward member Laxmi Rudra Neupane, teacher Hom Prasad Subedi, former ward secretary Yagya Raj Acharya and local Raju Bhattarai. Joshi said that the people involved in settling the incident would be punished for trying to cover up the heinous crime.
The victim’s side lodged a complaint with the police after the accused party who had initially agreed to pay Rs 300,000 to the victim did not pay the full amount as per the agreement. Although the old woman's son tried to lodge a complaint on the day he found out that his mother was raped, the people's representatives and others prevented him from leaving the village and pressured him to settle the incident, according to the victim’s son.
“Subedi, who is accused of raping the woman, has given a statement that he raped the old woman under the influence of alcohol,” police said. Rape cases in the village are still settled through financial give-and-take and are kept a secret.