A Nepali film director based here was sentenced to five years' rigorous imprisonment by a special court for sexually assaulting a minor girl.
Bharat Chhetri, alias Badal, 34, was convicted under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, 2012.
Pranay Rai, the public prosecutor, said: "Bharat Chhetri, who had also directed a film Bhagya Vidata (Destiny Maker) has been sentenced to five years' rigorous imprisonment and asked to pay a fine of Rs 10,000, failing which the term will be extended for six more months."
The sentence was pronounced by Anupam Mukherjee, special judge, Pocso Act, 2012, court in Darjeeling.
According to Rai, Chhetri used to run an NGO, A-1, from the Red Cross building in Darjeeling. "The NGO basically provided free tuitions to students from poor families," he said.
On November 15, 2014, Chhetri had allegedly called the aunt of the 15-year-old victim, who was studying in Class VIII then, around 12.30pm and asked her to send the girl for tuitions.
"The girl reached the NGO office alone. However, two other girls had also come for the class. After the tuition got over, those two were asked to leave the room," said Rai.
Chhetri then locked the door from inside and tried to molest the 15-year-old girl. "The girl protested and spat on Chhetri's face. He retaliated by slapping her four times," said Rai.
The girl then somehow managed to run out of the room.(TT)