Chief of Police defends his officers against allegations of physical violence

Not every allegation against the Royal Bhutan Police is true according to the Chief of Police (CoP) Colonel Chimi Dorji, particularly in an era where nameless and faceless people make unsubstantiated posts on social media against institutions and individuals.

“There is always a procedure where, if anyone has a problem with police personnel, they can approach the Superintendent of Police (SP) and if not entertained, they can approach the CoP and if he does not entertain the complaint, they can go to court.”

Recently, the mother of a suspect arrested in connection with drug abuse alleged that the Dagana OC physically beat up her son.

He said the Dagana police had arrested a group of youth in connection with drug abuse and one person in the group, who got beaten up, is a habitual abuser. “He is in and out of the prison. The OC hit him only once, on his buttock, with a cane since he refused to take a drug test and was acting wild in detention,” he said.

He also said that the police were after her son as he is a peddler in Dagana and is the reason why the mother wanted to get back to OC.

“We don’t want to compromise so we’ve asked the mother to file a case against the OC in the police station whereby after thorough investigation we will put it to court,” the CoP said. “The OC has his own means of justification.”

On the Nganglam case, where the OC was accused of beating up a person, the CoP said that a thorough investigation was done and it was found that the person was at fault. “Of-course, the OC did a mistake by beating up the person, however, the person provoked the OC by abusing him along with his wife,” he said.

The man was brought to the police station since he was found drunk and sleeping in the middle of the road. “There the police on duty failed to control him and the OC was called. After that he started provoking the OC using foul language,” he added.

“Initially the man was after money and OC gave him the money which is why the case has been compromised,” the CoP said adding that, if he really had grudge against the OC he should have taken the case to court.

The OC was suspended immediately and a new OC appointed who has been asked to take up the case against the old OC. However, later on it was learned that the complainant compromised and withdrew the case.

“He didn’t want to go to court because he would have to produce strong evidence,” the CoP said. “The man (complainant) provoked the OC and even pushed his wife. So probably he thought that he might lose in court.” Meanwhile it looked like the OC will be acquitted, as he had been provoked, the chief said.

On the allegation against the Gedu OC beating up a driver, he said that it was proven wrong as the person confessed that he wasn’t beaten.

The Gedu police were keeping an eye on the driver as he was found accompanying a criminal. “After few days he was tracked down and was brought to the police station for questioning and sent back. However, the OC scolded him by his mistake and he decided to get back at the OC according to a conversation he had with his cousin,” the CoP said.

Thereafter, to collect evidence, they went to hospital to get a medical report on his old wound (scar) on his thigh but doctor refused to give stating that it was an old scar. They then took a picture of the old scar and uploaded it on social media.

Similarly, the Chief said that the allegation on police personnel of Lungzur jail by the ex-inmate was not accurate. The CoP said they could have taken the ex-inmate to court and sued him but they didn’t do that.

When cases of wrongdoing are lodged against the OC or any other police personnel, the case is investigated by respective SPs. “If the official (police) is proven guilty there are series of penalties for code or conduct and misconduct,” the CoP said. “The lightest is warning in writing while the others would be demotion depending on gravity and seriousness, loss of seniority and if it is a serious offence than he/she will be terminated and will be sent to the court.”

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