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Mob attacks police after Indian teen's rape

world Updated: Mar 22, 2010 13:58 IST

A police post was attacked by enraged crowds in southern Nepal for two consecutive days after an Indian teenager, belonging to a minority community, was allegedly raped by a sub-inspector.

The 18-year-old girl from Bihar had eloped with an Indian youth to Nepal after their families objected to their relationship since he belongs to the Hindu community.

The pair arrived in Nepal's temple town of Janakpur in Dhanusha district, along the Indo-Nepal border, on Saturday, police said.

They had planned to get married in the Janaki temple that draws thousands of pilgrims from India every year.

However, during their stay at the Manakamana Lodge near Janakpur railway station, the couple were allegedly attacked by a Nepali sub-inspector who was posted at the station.

Baburam Jha, the cop, overpowered the youth and allegedly raped the girl.

As the news spread, angry locals attacked the police post, resulting in over three-dozen people, including eight policemen, being injured, police said.

The violence continued on Sunday, with crowds vandalising an ambulance. Police led a baton charge and fired teargas shells to bring the situation under control.

The authorities have suspended Baburam Jha, who is under detention while a committee is being formed to investigate the incident, police said.

Police also said they have no information about the whereabouts of the teenager and her escort.

The alleged incident occurred in a year the government has pledged to bring crime against women down to "zero" and a hotline has been set up in the prime minister's office to receive complaints from victims.

Nepal's security forces have been increasingly becoming the target of public anger with growing allegations of involvement in shootout killings, underworld activities and atrocities against women.

The government is yet to take action against a group of policemen who gang raped a woman colleague inside a police station in far western Nepal despite the National Human Rights Commission urging for punitive measures.

Recently, three women from the Dalit community, including a 12-year-old girl, were killed by the army in farwestern Nepal. However, the Defence Minister, Bidya Bhandari, tried to hush it up, saying the victims were part of an armed gang of poachers.

There are also growing incidents of harassment and attacks on foreigners despite Nepal seeking to bring 10 million tourists next year.