Police have arrested two main accused for their alleged involvement in gang-raping a 17-year-old girl in Rajbiraj. The teenager committed suicide

According to Inspector Santosh Khadka of District Police Office, Saptari, Suman Kumar Mandal and Ranjit Mandal were arrested from the Nepal-India border area on Thursday night.

According to sources, they were arrested in coordination with the Indian police as they were on the run after the incident. 

“They had fled to India. We arrested them on Thursday night after receiving information that they had come to the Nepali border area,” said Inspector Khadka. The other two accused in the incident, Vishnu Mandal and Dharma Mandal, are still absconding.

The teenager of Dakneshwari Municipality-7, Lalitpur in Rajbiraj was raped by four persons on September 14 while she was on her way to her paddy field. 

She died by suicide on the night of the incident after being threatened by local Panchas (panchayat) against registering a police compliant about the gang rape.

Police have arrested Panchas Jayakant Mandal, Satyanarayana Mandal and Vasudev Mandal on Tuesday. Trying to settle the incident by offering the teenage victim with “compensation money”, the Panchas had decided not to allow the girl and her family to lodge a police complaint. 

Other Panchas involved in giving out the verdict are absconding and search for them is underway, Inspector Khadka said.

The mother of the deceased teenager, Radhiya Devi Mandal, has accused the Panchas as the killers of her daughter. She said that the men in the Panchayat had called a meeting on the day of the incident and made the teenager repeat the rape incident several times, asked inappropriate questions, and laughed at her for being a victim, all in front of the villagers.

“The spiteful interrogation by the Panchas pushed my daughter to take her own life. She was gang raped but as she was processing the trauma, the Panchas offered us Rs 55,000 settlement money and instructed us to forget about it. When I denied their offer, local village women had called me and my daughter names for not abiding by the Panchas’ ruling. My daughter couldn’t take all the insult and killed herself that night,” said Mandal.