Alleged rapist in police custody

The Crime Division of Nepal Police on Saturday afternoon took Manoj Pandey, who faces rape allegations, in custody for an investigation.

A senior official at the Crime Branch confirmed Pandey’s arrest.

“We have taken him in custody for an enquiry,” said the official on condition of anonymity. “It is part of our investigation.”

On Wednesday, a former child actor and model posted a 20-series video on TikTok in which she shared explicit details of episodes wherein she was sexually harassed by multiple men, including Pandey.

She shared that Pandey had drugged and raped her in a hotel room, where he had invited her to a “success party” of a beauty pageant which she had participated in.

The 24-year-old survivor was 16 when she was raped and sexually abused.

“Our team had visited the victim’s home on Friday with a psychologist but since she was still disturbed, we couldn’t record her statement,” said the officer.

The Nepal Police Headquarters on Friday formed a committee headed by Senior Superintendent Basanta Kunwar to investigate the allegations against Pandey.

The committee consists of Superintendent Krishna Koirala, Deputy Superintendent Kopila Chudal, Deputy Superintendent Hari Basnet and Inspector Sapana Khadka.

Speaker Agni Sapkota on Friday directed the government to book the culprits after lawmakers including Gagan Thapa raised the issue in Parliament.

The Nepal Police was hesitant to arrest Pandey as the statute of limitation for registering a case at the court is one year. Youths from different walks of life have been staging protests demanding that the government book the culprit and give justice to the victim and scrap the statute of limitation on heinous crimes like rape.

The committee says it has started an investigation.

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