Confirmed DNA match of Bapula, the 73 year-old with that of Tandin Bida and Tandin Wangmo, the twin daughters of 17 year-old mother Sonam Choki (name changed) finally brought relief and a forthcoming sense of justice to the family who waited in all anxiousness for the results.
The DNA report was received by the court from the Forensic unit of the Thimphu national referral hospital (JDWNRH) on 25 October.
With the DNA report testing positive it is confirmed that the 73 year-old Bapula is the biological father of the twins born to 17 year-old Sonam Choki. The babies are now four months and six days old.
The blood samples of the suspect, victim and the twins were sent to Genetech Lab, Sri Lanka for DNA test to confirm paternity on the request of the suspect by the JDWNRH on 31July.
For each sample the suspect had to pay US$ 45.
The suspect is charged for rape of a child above the age of twelve years by the Woman and Child Protection Unit (WCPU) of Thimphu police, after the case was registered by the father of the victim to the police. The case was forwarded to the Thimphu district court on 5 July.
The amended version of the section 183 reads, “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of a rape of a child above the age of twelve years if the defendant commits any act of sexual intercourse against a child between the ages of twelve to eighteen years. However, consensual sex between children of sixteen years and above shall not be deemed to be rape”.
Rape of a child above the age of twelve years will be slapped a second degree felony, a term of imprisonment, nine years minimum and a maximum of which shall be less than fifteen years.
Talking to this paper, Sonam Choki’s father, Taw Tshering, 47 said that he is very happy that the result is in their favor and hopes justice will prevail.
“Whatever had to happen has happened and we cannot undo it, but all I know is my daughter’s life is ruined and I only hope for a better future for both my daughter and granddaughters,” said Taw Tshering.
Both the parents of Sonam Choki look forward for the judgment day when the district court will announce its verdict.
The twin daughters born on the morning of 11 July at JDWNRH each weighed between 1.17 kg to 2.18 kg. Tandin Bida is the elder twin and Tandin Wangmo is just three minutes younger to her sister.
They are looked after by the parents of Sonam Choki when she is away selling vegetables near the Thimphu-Wangduephodrang highway in Yusipang, Thimphu.
Background and history of the case
This is the story of a 17-year old, school going girl who was lured and impregnated by a 73-year old man in Yusipang, Thimphu last year.
The parents knew about their daughter’s pregnancy only on 5 June after she complained about swollen legs. A check-up at the hospital showed that she was six months pregnant by then and ultrasound confirmed that she was carrying twins. The name of the father was only revealed after the parents forced the girl.
The father was no other than the 73-year old neighbor who lived just few meters away from the victim’s house in Yusipang.
Sonam Choki is the only daughter of the family and lives in a one room makeshift bamboo and mud apartment in Yusipang. They are from Trashigang, Radi. The father of the girl is an orchard caretaker and has been working for the last 14 years.
While the suspect is still detained with the Thimphu police station, the 17-year old Sonam Choki continues to sell vegetables as her only source of income to raise her twin baby daughters in Yusipang, Thimphu.