The 18-year-old Rajendra Bohara, who has been arrested on charge of murdering 12-year-old Samjhana BK of Bajhang after rape, has been found to have raped another dalit girl just six weeks back.
Police investigation has revealed that Bohara had raped a 14-year dalit girl on August 13 but the case did not reach the police as the two families reached a settlement in the village with Bohara 'promising to take responsibility' should the girl be pregnant.
The Boharas have a water mill and he had raped the 14-year-old girl who had come to grind flour when he was alone in the mill.
Setopati has acquired a digital copy of the document the two sides signed on August 15. "The rape incident happened at the water mill where the girl went to grind flour. I have signed in this document agreeing to take responsibility if she has a baby in her womb," the document reads. Bohara has vowed to accept legal action if he fails to keep his promise of taking responsibility.
The document states that Bohara can produce it to the police station if anyone were to beat him owing to the rape case hinting that he may have been beaten for the incident.
Bohara had put a currency note of Rs 500 at the girl's feet and touched her feet with his forehead while signing the document.
"The latest incident would not have happened if the previous incident had come to the police. This led to Samjhana's murder," Spokesperson with Far West Police SSP Mukesh Singh told Setopati. "The incident seems to have been swept under the carpet by both the victims and perpetrators."
Police say impunity in the previous rape may have given Bohara confidence for the latest crime.
Bohara, whose house is just 10-minute walk away from BK's in Masta rural municipality 2, had been following her for around a week. The girl, who had heard about the rape incident around a month back, had even complained with her family but the family did not see threat from the neighborhood boy.
"The complaint by Samjhana's grandfather Gorakh Bahadur mentions that Bohara had repeatedly followed her, asked for her gold earrings and the girl was scared," SSP Singh revealed. "We can estimate that the incident would not have happened if they were a little sensitive."
BK, who had gone to put fodder for cattle on Wednesday evening, was found dead in the night.
The shed was half an hour walk away from the home and was across a river and jungle. The Boharas operate the water mill in the river. Her body was found in Simdevata Temple on the way to the shed by the locals who searched for her when she did not return home till late in the night.
Police investigations have revealed that Bohara had confronted the girl just 15 minutes after she left home on Wednesday. He took her to the temple and raped her, and then murdered her fearing that she may complain about the rape like the earlier girl had.
The postmortem report shows that she was raped. The autopsy report given by the District Hospital to the Bajhang Police states that she had vaginal injury. The report attributes her death to liver injury inflicted by trauma. She also had injuries on head, back and face.
Police say the eighth-grader, a spoilt brat who does not care about study and was involved in some incidents of thefts in the past, may have been a lone wolf. SSP Singh said Bohara has two close friends in the village but investigations have showed that they were not in the village on the day of incident.
"Our investigations have revealed that she was murdered within an hour of being taken under control."
He added that police have also gathered facts that almost establish the previous rape of another dalit girl. "We are registering another rape case. The girl has reached the district headquarters with the complaint," he stated.
Police are consulting with the public prosecutors about legal action against the family of Bohara and the dalit girls for reaching a settlement without filing a complaint.