An arrest warrant has been issued against Nepal cricket captain Sandeep Lamichhane, who has been accused of raping a minor.
The Kathmandu District Court has granted permission to arrest Lamichhane, according to SP Dinesh Raj Mainali at the District Police Range Kathmandu.
Mainali said that an arrest warrant was issued after the court granted permission to conduct further investigation on Lamichhane under Chapter-18, Section 219 of the National Penal (Code) Act, 2017 on Thursday.
The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), meanwhile, has suspended Lamichhane from the national team after issual of the arrest warrant. It had earlier refused to take any action against him after the complaint was registered stating that the matter was still under investigation.
Police had started investigation after a 17-year-old girl filed a rape complaint against Lamichhane at the Gaushala Police Circle on Tuesday.
The girl has claimed in her complaint that Lamichhane raped her in a hotel room in Kathmandu Metropolitan City Ward Number 9 on August 21, a day before Lamichhane left for the bilateral series with Kenya. In her statement to the police, the girl has accused Lamichhane of raping her multiple times in room number 305 of the hotel that night.
Police have collected the CCTV footage of the hotel where they are said to have stayed as evidence.
The girl has also stated that she had gone to Nagarkot with Lamichhane on August 17 after being introduced to him through a friend. According to police, they have collected the CCTV footage from there too and are studying it.
Meanwhile, Lamichhane has contacted the Cricket Association of Nepal and sought legal assistance in the matter. He is currently in St Lucia to play in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
It is not yet certain when he will return to Nepal. The CPL runs until October 1 while Lamichhane’s team Jamaica plays its last league match on September 25.
Section 219, sub-section (2) of the National Penal (Code) Act, 2017 states: “Where a man has sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent or with a girl child below eighteen years of age even with her consent, the man shall be considered to commit rape on such woman or girl child.”