Thimphu police has registered three cases of breach of public order and tranquility since the re-opening of entertainment centers, excluding Drayangs. The government had issued a notification of re-opening of entertainments centers from 10 October 2021.
As per the police, all the three cases are related to bars operating beyond 10 pm. All the three license holders were sent on surety for now.
As per section 448 of the Penal Code of Bhutan 2004, a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of breach of Public Order and tranquility, if the defendant purposely fails to abide by the orders of the Royal Government issued in the interest of public safety, public order and tranquility.
The grading of the offence is a petty misdemeanor, as per section 449 of the same Act.
A police official, in the meantime, shared that though they have received three cases for breaching the notification issued by the government, they have not received any other criminal offences after the re-opening of centers.
He said, “We strictly monitor the centers, whereby, if we find any of the centers beyond the allowed capacity, we then inform the owners asking them to reduce the number to 50 percent, as per the issued notification.”
In doing so, he said, that it is challenging to ask people to leave and it is quite difficult to segregate people in the centers. Each time they go for a patrolling, the owners are reminded to comply and abide by the notification issued.
Meanwhile, with a recent notification by the government on the need of having to be vigilant at all times, they have met with bar and entertainment center owners to sensitize on do’s and don’ts. In addition, the police took an undertaking letters from all the owners, stating that failure to comply and non-adherence to the notification will result in severe penalties including cancellation of business licenses.
“They were sensitized on the timings, selling of alcohol, responsibilities, failure to report the crime, grading on late bar opening and other related issues,” he added.