Haa police detained a 21-year-old man from Gakiling, Haa for alleged rape of a child above 12 years since August 11.

Sources alleged that the man, who works as a contract labourer in Rangtse, eloped with a 14-year-old girl, a student, to his village on July 21.

It was learnt that the school management reported the case to police after reporting it to the dzongkhag education officer and the dzongdag when the class four-student did not return to school after the summer break.

Paro’s senior superintendent of police (SSP), Colonel Passang Dorji, said that the villagers including the girl’s parents were aware that the girl had eloped but they did not report to police. “They are charged with the offence of aiding and abetting in the crime.”

Colonel Passang Dorji said the man admitted to having consensual sex with the girl but since she is a minor, it is a crime.

Section 183 of the Penal Code (amendment) Act of Bhutan 2011 states that a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of rape of a child above the age of 12 years if the defendant commits any act of sexual intercourse against a child between 12 to 18 years.

Section 184 states that the offence of rape of a child above the age of 12 years shall be a felony of the second degree.

Colonel Passang Dorji said that such incidences happen in remote villages where people are unaware of laws.

Dechen Tshomo