Gelephu police on November 3 detained a farmer from Gongsekha in Sarpang for allegedly raping and molesting a 13-year-old girl, a class five student.

The parents first reported the case to a teacher of a school on November 1.

The teacher advised the parents to take the girl to the health assistant in the basic health unit (BHU) located above the school.

Gongsekha is one of the most remote villages of Jigmechholing gewog.

The girl, along with her two younger brothers, has been living at the man’s house to attend the school since February this year. Walking from her home to the school took at least two hours while it took them half an hour from the man’s house.

The girl’s parents knew about the case when she refused to return to the accused’s house after she had come home during the weekend on October 28.

Sources said the girl told her parents that the man was touching her inappropriately and she did not want to live in his house.

The parents managed to convince the girl and send her to school on October 29. But what the child told them disturbed them and asked the girl to spend the night at her friend’s place on October 29 night.

On October 30 evening, the parents went and brought their three children home for the two days break.

During the break, the parents asked the girl if she was hiding anything from them and why she was not comfortable living at the man’s house.

The girl’s father said their daughter burst into tears and told them that she was raped twice.

She also told them that the man molested her several times before raping her. She told the parents that the man came near her making excuses that he would help her in studies and ran his hands over her body. “We trusted the man who is distantly related to us and kept my children there,” he said. “I feel sorry for my daughter.”

The two rape incidents happened on September 15 and September 22, according to the girl’s narration to the health assistant.

In both the incidents, after returning from school, the man called her in the cardamom orchard asking her to help him carry cardamom.

According to the child’s statement, on reaching the orchard near a banana tree he asked her to remove her clothes and when she refused he tore it and raped her. She was warned not to tell anyone about the incident and gave her Nu 10 once.

“She is traumatised and always fearful but has started attending classes,” the father said. “School is almost two hours walk away and my children start by 6am from home.”

Nirmala Pokhrel  | Tsirang