December 1, 2022
Nepal cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane said, will return home to fight rape allegations


Nepalese cricket star Sandeep Lamichhane has defended his failure to return home to face rape charges nearly three weeks after his arrest warrant, saying he intends to do so “as soon as possible”. A Nepalese court issued a warrant on September 8 following allegations from a 17-year-old girl, but Lamichhane is believed to have remained in the Caribbean, where he was playing in a tournament. While police are believed to be preparing to file an arrest warrant with Interpol, Lamichhane issued a statement on social media on Sunday, reiterating that the claims against him are baseless.

He wrote, “The news of the arrest warrant issued against me … left me mentally disturbed. I was not able to think what to do and what not to do.”

“My health condition is gradually improving and I plan to return to Nepal as soon as possible to fight vigorously (against the allegations).”

The 22-year-old Lamichhane was the poster boy for the rise of cricket in mountainous Nepal, which received One Day International status in 2018.

The leg-spinner got his big break when he was selected by Delhi Capitals to fund the Indian Premier League in 2018, and he has been Nepal’s most sought-after cricketer ever since.

He was suspended as captain of the national team following an arrest warrant and the player dropped out of the Caribbean Premier League, where he was playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs.

Social media posts did not reveal his whereabouts but he is believed to be still in the Caribbean.

The teenager, along with her guardian, filed a complaint against the player earlier this month, alleging that he had raped her in a hotel room in Kathmandu in August.

Police officer Bharat Bohora on Monday declined to comment on Lamichhane’s latest comments, saying investigators have no contact with the cricketer.

“Police are probing the rape complaint filed against Sandeep Lamichhane. The investigation is in the preliminary stages,” Bohora told AFP.

The charges against the cricketer come after popular Nepali actor Paul Shah was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison this month for sexual misconduct with a minor.

About 2,300 rape cases were registered in Nepal in the last financial year, according to police, but rights activists say many more assaults were not registered.

Only a handful of women in Nepal spoke up during the #MeToo movement, and the allegations seem to have little or no effect on the allegations.

publicized

In May, hundreds of people protested in Kathmandu for stricter laws and enforcement of sexual violence cases after an aspiring model posted a series of TikTok videos from when she was a teenager.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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