Nim Dorji | Trongsa

Bumthang dzongkhag court sentenced a 31-year man from Poengar village in Chhoekhor gewog to 10 years in prison for raping his 17-year-old niece.

The man is sentenced to 10 years for rape of a child above 12 years and two years for incest. However, he was given a concurrent prison term of 10 years.

The judgment rendered on November 17 stated that the man has raped the victim multiple times.

According to the judgement, the convict raped the victim in 2018 and the victim confided to the school counsellor, but school authorities called the victim, her mother, the convict and his mother, who is the victim’s grandmother, to the school and resolved the issue.

It stated the convict again raped the victim last year during the nationwide lockdown.

The victim, who changed her school in the dzongkhag, confided to the school counsellor again about the rape. The school counsellor of the new school immediately informed the principal and they reported the matter to the police.

The court ordered the convict to pay Nu 45,000 as compensation to the victim within 10 days from the day the judgment was given.

Sources in Bumthang, who followed the case closely, said school authorities play an important role in helping the victim.

“Victim first confide to the school counsellors, who report the matter to the school principal,” a source said. “If the principal is empathetic and believes in helping the victim, they support the counsellors and report the matter to police.”

The source said that the minor would not have been raped during the lockdown if school authorities of her previous school reported the to police. “But there is no accountability. Our laws prescribe such crimes should be reported, but most school authorities cover it up.”

The source said the girl would have been victimised more if she did not change the school. “I really want to thank the school authorities for saving the girl and hope this case will be an eye-opener for others.”

(The convict’s name was withheld to protect the minor) 

Edited by Tashi  Dema