In the village of Moutsang Chhu in Chudzom Gewog, Sarpang, a night of celebration turned into a tragedy, resulting in the alleged involuntary manslaughter of a 31-year-old man.
The incident was reported by the Gup of Chudzom (Dovan) Gewog, Bishnu Pradhan Rai, to the Sarpang Police Station on the 20 January at around 8:30 am. The incidence took place in the house where a marriage party had taken place the night before.
The system of serving any kind of alcohol during the daytime at the wedding is prohibited, but the youths gathered at night brought the drinks by themselves, and most of them were uninvited including the deceased and the suspect.
Suk Bdr Rai was found unconscious on the roadside at around 3:00 am, with multiple injuries on his body. He was rushed to Gelephu Hospital from Dovan Basic Health Unit, but, unfortunately, he is said to have died due to his injuries before reaching the hospital.
Responding to the situation, the investigative team proceeded to the Place of Occurrence. Simultaneously, a formal request was made to the Division Headquarters to dispatch a separate team to the hospital. This secondary team was assigned the task of conducting a collaborative physical examination of the deceased’s body in coordination with forensic officials.
Upon reaching the Scene of the Crime, at approximately noon, the investigation team diligently collected key pieces of evidence. These included identifiable traces of blood, a total of five beer bottles, one Rokbee bottle, a container of lip guard cream, and a stone with blood. The stone was suspected to have been used in the assault on the deceased.
Upon investigation, it was revealed that a wedding celebration took place at the residence of Dhan Bdr Rai on January 19, 2024. During the same night, approximately 15-20 youths, including girls, gathered in front of the marriage venue to partake in dancing and celebration. The deceased, accompanied by four friends, was among the attendees.
All the friends of the deceased were called to the gewog center for questioning. They explained that until 2 am, they were engaged in dancing, while the deceased engaged in drinking and enjoyment with other individuals. According to their accounts, the deceased was observed carrying 4-5 bottles of beer and inviting them to join him.
Other individuals, including the boys and girls present at the party that night, were also called to the gewog center. Upon questioning, they expressed a lack of knowledge regarding the time and companions with whom the deceased had left the party.
After the interrogation and upon hearing about death of the man, a girl reported that she had seen Uttam Gurung, one of her neighbors, returning to his residence from the marriage event at approximately 3:00 am, wearing clothes stained with blood. She thought that he might have fallen due to the influence of alcohol.
The gewog officials received this information and successfully located the suspect at his residence, finding him asleep in his room with blood-stained clothes. Promptly, he was taken to the gewog center, where, during the interrogation, he confessed to his crime.
According to the statements provided by the suspect, Uttam Gurung and the deceased consumed a few bottles of beer together on the roadside while others were enjoying themselves at the party. Both became intoxicated after drinking the beer and at a certain point, the deceased began to verbally insult and abuse him without any reason.
Furthermore, the suspect explained that while he was smoking, the deceased suddenly hit him from behind, with a powerful punch to his right ear. In response, the suspect retaliated by picking up a stone and hitting the deceased multiple times. After that, the suspect went to his residence after the deceased had fallen to the ground.
The report on the deceased revealed a series of injuries, including a severe head injury, which was determined to be the cause of death.
There were 4 cases of Involuntary Manslaughter in 2022 and 3 cases in 2023.
Uttam Gurung has been detained, and the case is currently under investigation. He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter which is a fourth-degree felony. A defendant convicted of a felony of the fourth degree shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment, a minimum of which shall be three years and a maximum of which shall be less than five years. The people of Moutsang Chhu village are left in shock and grief over the tragic incident.