Monk accused of impregnating 14-year-old

Monk accused of impregnating 14-year-old

THIMPHU - Relatives of a 14-year old girl, who is about eight months pregnant, are worried about how they could be able to take care of the mother and child, given their financial situation.

The girl was referred to Thimphu from Punakha hospital three days ago. Her elder sister, who has accompanied her to Thimphu, alleged the child's father is a monk enrolled in one of the monastic institutions in Samtse. She said he could be in his early 20s.

"Ever since he was informed about the pregnancy, he has refused to accept that it's his child," the sister said. "Now he doesn't answer our calls at all."

According to the sister, the monk came to stay with his family in Thinleygang during the holiday early this year. The families are neighbours; the alleged father's family lives on the top floor, and the girl's family occupies the ground floor of the house. "He said he'd marry me," is all the 14-year-old said.

The sister came to know about the pregnancy when the girl, who was about two months pregnant by then, started falling ill. An ultra sound confirmed the pregnancy and, since then, the sister has been taking her to the hospital.

Since she was a minor, the forensic unit was informed about the case, through whom police and other organisations are also informed. "She's a child and the case comes under rape," a health official said.

Section 183 of the Penal Code of Bhutan states a "defendant shall be guilty of the offence of rape of a child above the age of 12 years, if the defendant has sexual intercourse with a child between the ages of 12- 18 years."

The offence of rape of a child above the age of 12 years, states section 184 of the penal code, shall be a felony of the second degree.

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