Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

Thinley (name changed) went to bed early with her two-year-old son on the night of February 25 before her husband, who works in a poultry farm construction in Tsirang, returned from work.

The next morning, she was informed that her 35-year-old husband was detained for alleged rape of an elderly woman in her 50s.

With the case still under investigation, Thinley doesn’t know the details. “I just heard some rumours that the victim, who is an elderly woman, and my husband were in relation behind my back.”

A village tshogpa said he received a call from a woman in his chiwog at 3am of February 22, requesting him to draft an agreement that her boyfriend would take responsibility if she conceives.

“She told me she slept with her boyfriend during her monthly period, but nothing about the rape,” the tshogpa said. “I informed the gup the next day. By then the woman’s daughter, who stays in Thimphu, also reached here.”

He said the gewog administration looked for the boyfriend, but they could not trace him as the woman gave them wrong name. “After identifying the boyfriend, the gewog reported the matter to the police suspecting it to be a criminal case.”

But residents of the chiwog said the victim suffered from mental illness.

“She cries and shouts late into the night. She stays alone near her former husband’s house,” a neighbour said.

Another said the suspect and victim might have been in a consensual relationship.

Kuensel could not talk to the victim, who is a mother of four, as she is currently in Thimphu with her daughter for medical examination.

Tsirang police officials said they received a complaint of rape from the National Commission for Women and Children office on February 25 and they immediately sent the victim for medical check-up.

Officials claimed that they could not find any evidence as the complaint was filed three days after the alleged incident.

The investigation team found the victim and suspect knew each other and were in a  physical relationship, but on the day the rape was reported, the victim refused to sleep with the suspect, but he forced it against her will,” a source said.

It was learnt the suspect claimed it was consensual.

Police sources said the victim has been sent to Thimphu for medical evaluation as her daughter claims she is mentally disturbed.

Police forwarded the case to the Office of the Attorney General on March 23.

Officials said the suspect is on bail.