Monastery trio held for rape

The Telegraph

RAJEEV RAVIDAS

(From left) Phurba Dorjee, Karan Roka, Samten Tshedup and Dawa Dukpa at the Kalimpong police station on Thursday. Picture by Chinlop Fudong Lepcha

Kalimpong, April 11: Three students of a Buddhist monastery and a taxi driver have been arrested for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl on Tuesday night.

Police said all the four were aged between 20 and 24 and were arrested last night. They were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days by the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Kalimpong today.

Samten Tshedup, 21, Phurba Dorjee, 20, Dawa Dukpa, 20, are students of Thongsa Monastery at 10th Mile in Kalimpong and are citizens of Bhutan. The taxi driver, Karan Roka, 24, is a resident of Gumbahatta in Kalimpong.

The police said Karan was known to the girl and he lured her to Durpin, 4km from here, where she was raped on Tuesday night.

“The girl had come to (Kalimpong) town to buy medicines on Tuesday evening when she ran into Roka whom she knew. Roka talked her into going for a drive, accompanied by the three monastery students. They probably served her a soft drink mixed with alcohol and took her to Durpin where they committed the crime,” said Kalimpong additional superintendent of police Sangmit Lepcha.

A police source said: “All of them have been charged under Section 376 (2) (g) of the IPC for committing rape and the punishment includes imprisonment of 10 or more years, including life, and fine.”

The source said Samten, Phurba and Dawa were Bhutanese nationals and had been at the monastery for less than a year undergoing a training to become monks. The source couldn’t say how the driver came to know the student monks. The Thongsa monastery authorities refused to meet journalists.

The girl was admitted to the Kalimpong subdivisional hospital on Tuesday night and is recovering. The girl’s parents are from Nepal and the family lives at a rented house at Alainchikhop near here. “Both her parents do menial jobs in the town. The girl doesn’t go to school,” said one of their neighbours.

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