Lhakpa Tamang, 28-year-old ,from Samtse might have recovered from the injuries caused after he was allegedly assaulted by the Tading Gup and his four staffs on the evening of April 9 at his village in Samtse, but he is still seeking for ways to find justice.
After almost a month since the incident happened, Lhakpa has been reporting to police station with the hopes of getting some justice. He said it seems like his pleas of justice are falling on deaf ears.
Talking to the paper, Lhakpa Tamang said, “The case was finally forwarded to the court, but in the court also, the Drangpon passed an order stating that my father and I should be arrested. I pleaded, but the Superintendent of Police (SP) asked me to sign an agreement which read, if my younger brother, who is currently undergoing his police training in Gelephu, should be brought to police station on Monday and failing to do so, will result in the arrest of me and my father.”
Further, Tamang said, “Without having done proper investigations, the police are branding us as suspects and they just don’t want to listen to our justifications.”
The case was forwarded to the court on May 5 by the police, but since one of the people involved in the case, the younger brother of Lhakpa Tamang was missing, the case has been kept on hold.
They have been ordered to report to the court on Monday.
In further developments, Lhakpa Tamang has alleged that the SP of Samtse police station told him that it was just a minor case and if police make an arrest on such cases, the detention cell will be full of detainees.
The paper tried to get the views of the police on the case but they have refused to comment stating that the case is still under investigation.
The incident happened when the Lhakpa Tamang along with his parents and younger brother had gone to the gewog office after a call from the Gup’s office on April 9.
Lhakpa Tamang said a villagers, Hem Raj Moktan, had approached the Gup with problems over water source dispute. Tamang said he was accused of being a thief.
It is alleged that the matter went out of hand when the Gup latched the office door and dragged Tamang’s mother causing her to fall down.
Tamang also alleged that the Gup then caught hold of his younger brother, Dawa Dorji Tamang’s neck. He said he rushed to separate the Gup and his brother, but five of the people present at the Gup’s office held them down and battered them.
Tamang said he and his brother managed to escape. The incident allegedly took place at the Gup’s office at Sherabling (Jechu Gaon).
However, Tamang alleged that before they could react or inform the police about the incident, the Gup had already called up the police and filed a false report against them stating that two brothers, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, had attacked him and his office staff.
The younger brother allegedly received a call from police warning him not to repeat it again.
In an earlier interview, the Tading Gup denied the allegations and said despite having a discussion, no fights had taken place.
The 39-year-old Gup said, “The two brothers came to my office, charged me and my Mangmi. They were pointing fingers and showing tempers. But we did not raise hands on them.”
The next day after the incident, Lhakpa said he approached to the nearest police station in Phuentsholing to register the case, but the case was forwarded to Samtse police due to jurisdiction problem.
Lhakpa had produced a medical report issued by Phuentsholing hospital and Thimphu hospital, but he has alleged that the OC refused to accept his medical reports and was asked to bring a medical report from Samtse, which was also produced, but he has alleged that the OC was not ready to look into the case.
The medical report state the finding of bruises on Lhakpa Tamang’s body and a complete loss of voice caused due to the beating. Lhakpa has since regained his voice back. He said he had gone to Phuentsholing hospital for the check up and was not satisfied with the treatment there, and so he opted to come to Thimphu hospital for the check up.
He said, “I have lost hope and faith in getting justice as a poor man’s voice is not heard despite being in the right.”
Chencho Dema / Thimphu