Police have launched a high level inquiry against one of their officers in Gelephu, who is alleged to have raped his 16-year old housemaid.
The police officer, a major by rank, was suspended last week and an inquiry team led by the deputy chief of police (administration) is in Gelephu to investigate the case. The officer has not been detained.
The police officer’s wife brought the maid to a RENEW volunteer in Gelephu, who is also the coordinator, on January 23 alleging her husband raped the maid in December last year.
The RENEW volunteer reported the matter to police and took the victim to hospital.
A clinical officer at the Gelephu referral hospital, who observed the minor, said although there were signs of forced penetration, the hospital was not in a position to conclude who the perpetrator was as a month had passed since the incident occurred. Hospital staff also ruled out pregnancy, as the maid had her last mensuration at the end of December last year.
The victim told hospital staff and the RENEW volunteer that the officer raped her on December 24 and 25 last year.
The maid was brought to work for the officer and his wife from a remote village in Zhemgang two weeks prior to the incident.
Police chief brigadier Kipchu Namgyel said if the investigation proves the officer guilty, police will handover the officer to the local police station and due process of law would be followed.
“No one is above law,” he said. “But as a uniformed person, it is the procedure to conduct the investigation.”
“If police is serious about their investigation, they should detain the officer and conduct a thorough investigation,” a Gelephu resident said. “If it was any other person they would be detained soon after the complaint is lodged.”
It has been learnt that the officer is asking the investigation team to prove the allegation technically and that the officer’s wife has changed her statement to say that the allegation is fictitious.
RENEW has taken the minor to Thimphu for counseling and support.
By Tashi Dema, Gelephu