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Sunday November 27, 2022

Sandeep arrested on rape charges

By AFP
October 07, 2022

KATHMANDU: Cricket star Sandeep Lamichhane returned to Nepal and was immediately arrested on Thursday, nearly a month after a court issued a warrant over the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl.

Lamichhane, a poster boy for the growing popularity of cricket in Nepal, was taken into custody when he landed, Dinesh Raj Mainali, a spokesman for Kathmandu district police, told AFP.

Wearing a white hoodie, black cap and black mask, he was swiftly escorted out of Kathmandu airport to a police van waiting outside.

Earlier Lamichhane had posted on his Facebook page that he was returning home to fight the accusations.

“I will fully cooperate in all stages of investigation and will fight (the) legal battle to prove my innocence. Let the justice prevail,” Lamichhane posted.

Lamichhane, 22, was suspended as Nepal’s cricket captain after a court in the country issued the arrest warrant on September 8.

It followed an accusation from the 17-year-old that the cricketer had raped her in a Kathmandu hotel room in August.

But Lamichhane failed to return to Nepal from the West Indies where he was playing in the Caribbean Premier League.

Cricket does not enjoy the same adulation in mountainous Nepal it does elsewhere in South Asia.

“News of the arrest warrant issued against me... made me mentally disturbed. I could not think what to do and what not to do,” he wrote.

“My health condition is gradually improving and I am planning to return to Nepal as soon as possible to vehemently fight back (against the allegations).”

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