Court grants bail to six suspects involved in smuggling of golden scripture

The Zhemgang district court granted bail to six suspects involved in the burglary of a 330-page sergi jatongpa (a religious scripture written in gold).

The six are among the 10 people arrested for their involvement in the burglary from Nyakhar lhakhang in Nangkor, Zhemgang.

Four of the suspects were granted bail on 27 March after paying an amount of Nu 20,000 each.

The Zhemgang drangpon, Sonam Dorji, in a telephone interview said, “The suspects were granted bail since the charges against them were bailable. While the other three were not granted bail because, the offences were not bailable.”

On 17 January, when the caretaker of the lhakhang opened the steel box containing the gold scriptures for the Nyakhar residents, who gathered to view the scriptures, it was found to be missing.

The case was immediately reported to the police.

Two days later, the Thimphu police arrested two men, 34 and 45 years with the scripture from Ramtokto in Thimphu.

It was revealed to the police that three more people were involved in the case, the village tshampa, a hermit living a few meters away from the lhakhang, a contractor, and a jabmi (private lawyer).

Later it was learnt that the Drungtsho (traditional physician) of Yebilaptsa hospital and his wife were also involved in the smuggling.

The Zhemgang police released the caretaker after they found he was not involved in the crime and also the nine suspects in custody had given in writing about his non-involvement in the case.

It is learnt that the burglary was well-planned by the suspects.

Police had also recovered a hammer that was used to break the lock of the box and the Sergi Jatongpa that was found with the two men from Bumthang in their car, a Swift D’zire.

The scripture was brought back to Zhemgang.

Chencho Dema / Thimphu

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  1. Bail for such a serious crime!  I don’t believe it!

  2. If such crimes are bailable, there will be more desecration of chortens, lhahkhangs, monasteries, nays and other religious artefacts.

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