Friday, June 11, 2010

Woman gangraped in Hindu group's Nepal office

Woman gangraped in Hindu group's Nepal office

2010-06-11 13:20:00

A Hindu organisation that triggered a controversy five years ago when it supported the army-backed bloodless coup by King Gyanendra has run into fresh controversy after a 52-year-old woman was gangraped inside its office here.

The 70-year-old caretaker at the Vishwa Hindu Mahasangh (VHM) office in Kathmandu's Bansbari area, another employee and three of their acquaintances were arrested by police early Thursday morning.

According to Deputy Superintendent of Police Dipak Thapa, the woman, the mother of grown-up children, was a local resident who had stepped outside her house late Wednesday night to get respite from the heat wave sweeping Kathmandu valley.

The five men, who were sitting at the gate of the VHM office and drinking, saw her come out of her house and pace the road.

Lok Bahadur Khadka, the caretaker, and another man overpowered her and pulled her inside the building. The five men then dragged her to the top floor of the four-storey building.

Alerted by the woman's cries for help, the neighbours informed police.

When a police team reached the building, they found the victim unconscious.

Her attackers were apprehended after a long wait by police during which the former locked themselves up inside the building.

The incident triggered protests by angry residents from the neighbourhood.

Except Khadka, who is from neighbouring Lalitpur district, the rest are from Sindhupalchowk near the Tibetan border.

The other employee is a 29-year-old man, Dharma Raj Budathoki.

Police said the duo, along with Lal Bahadur Tamang, Arjun Neupane and Sumit Khadka would be charged with gangrape.

The VHM shot into prominence in 2005 when it was one of the recipients of King Gyanendra's largesse to people and organisations supporting his coup.

It has close ties with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of India, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena whose leaders have visited in Nepal to support the campaign for the restoration of Nepal as a Hindu kingdom.


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