Defense lawyer says feeding of stray dogs led to issue: Wamrong case

The Wamrong Drunkhag Court conducted the miscellaneous hearing on 2 July on the alleged battery case involving Wamrong Drangpon’s wife and the cleaner’s wife. The incident took place on 26 April. The preliminary hearing was done on 3 July, whereby the police resubmitted their charges.

They resubmitted that the alleged suspect (Drangpon’s wife) should be charged for battery and trespass, while the victim and her son are charged for assault.

The defense lawyer submitted the first submission on 7 July. The submission states that Sonam Pelden’s husband Karma, who has been working as a cleaner at the Wamrong Drungkhag Court had to clean Drangpon’s residence every Monday and feed about 12 stray dogs adopted by Drangpon on a daily basis.

Karma had no choice than to carry out the said tasks for the last 6 years to sustain himself and his family, states their submission.

The lawyer said, “Everything started from an incident, whereby the cleaner and his family delayed to feed the stray dogs, which infuriated the Drangpon’s wife that evening. That happened during Wamrong Zangdokpelri Annual Tshechu in December 2019. After a heated argument between the defendant Sonam Pelden and Drangpon’s Aum, the latter developed strong hostility against the former and warned her not to show her face until the issue is solved.”

Following which, on 26 April 2020, a physical fight broke out between Sonam Pelden (defendant) and Dranpon’s wife leaving the defendant injured. The incident happened following a verbal argument when the defendant was planting saplings in her kitchen garden after which Drangpon’s wife shouted at her asking her to stay out of her sight.

After a moment of heated argument, the Drangpon’s wife forced herself into the house to brutally batter the defendant. The defendant’s son made video evidence that was later destroyed by the Drangpon saying such video, if gone viral, could be an offence, the lawyer added.

The lawyer said that the defendant and her son are charged for assault.

RBP has charged them based on a video clip depicting a few scenes before the physical fight and based on reports by two eyewitnesses.

The two witnesses who gave statements to RBP about the defendant’s conduct are relatives of the Drangpon’s wife, and therefore, the lawyer pleaded to the court to not rely on fabricated statements on the ground of conflict of interest and lack of credible witnesses.

“We have submitted to court to consider the payment of appropriate damages caused by the Drangpon’s wife to the defendant. On this matter, the Court order the Drangpon’s wife to pay compensation and damages for the injuries and expenses for defendant’s treatment,” the lawyer added.

The lawyer submitted that the prosecution failed to charge the Drangpon’s wife for harassment as per PCB 2004 as she has been harassing the defendant by violating their freedom.

Though the defense lawyer requested to charge the Drangpon and the two eyewitnesses for failure to report of a crime, the prosecutor submitted that they could not charge the Drangpon for the offence of failure to report a crime as he had only known about the incident but did not witness the event.

Meanwhile, RBP requested the court to ask justification from Namgay  Zam on how RBP has fabricated the statement as untrue. However, the court denied the request made by RBP stating that the excerpts of the post, submitted before the court is not prejudicial to the ongoing case.

The Court said RBP can take up the case separately if Namgay Zam’s post has defamed them.

The next rebuttal hearing will be done on Monday, 13 July.

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