Yogesh Lama (Left) Salman (Right)

Family of the deceased girls murdered in Jaigaon looks for the strongest penalty

The family of the deceased Bhutanese girls who were brutally murdered in Jaigoan are looking for justice at the earliest and with the severest of punishment. In the confession one of the culprits admitted that one of the deceased was raped and murdered, however, sources said that they are yet to receive the medical reports of the two girls.

The two deceased, a 26-year-old woman from Chuzaygang, Gelephu, Sarpang and a 22-year-old from Logchina, Chukha were murdered in the early morning of 14 June at Mechia Basti, Jaigoan.

Though it was initially claimed that the two deceased were residing at Jaigoan for a long period of time, the family and ex-husband of one of the deceased shared that the deceased used to stay in the Bhutan side with her friends.

The 25-year-old ex-husband of the 26-year-old deceased (who is from Sarpang) shared that he was shocked upon hearing the news of her death. He had no idea about how she reached at the other side of the border because she used to stay with her friends in Bhutan.

He said, “We were married for three years but due to some reasons we got divorced and it has been a year. Even after our separation, we were in touch and she came to meet me in Wangduephodrang in the month of April, after the lockdown in India.”

He asked her to go back to village because sustaining in Phuentsholing would be hard without any job. However, she told him that she was working in a bar in Phuentsholing, and thereby, she did not want to go back, he added.

“She did not contact me after going back from Wangdue and this is what has happened to her. While she was with me she wasn’t into drugs. I am not sure if she was abusing drugs behind my back. I don’t know what actually had happened since we did not contact each other for quite sometime,” he said.

Whatever it may be, he said that he and other family members want justice because the women were murdered. He urged the people not to write anything against the two deceased without even knowing the actual facts. “Let their souls rest in peace,” he said.

He along with one of her brothers is in quarantine for now as they were the one to take over the body for cremation.

He said that he has met the other deceased woman as well but he was not so close with her. He works in PHPA II for the past four months and he is from Sipsu, Samtse.

Meanwhile, the deceased’s 30-year-old sister said that the deceased always told them that she was staying with her friend in Bhutan near Phuentsholing hospital. She once came to Thimphu and met the relatives in April, she said.

However, “We are not sure of how she went to Jaigoan and for what reason. She used to call us once or twice in a month. We have asked her friends in Phuenstholing and they said she used to stay with them.”

She said that the deceased once visited her house in Sarpang in 2018 and since then she did not come back and she did not mention anything about her job. They are looking forward for the severest punishment for the two culprits, she added.

In connection to the murder, Jaigoan police apprehended four suspects in total. The two suspects who were first arrested on the day of crime and were detained based on a fight they had with the girls one day prior to the incident. However, it now emerges that they were not the murderers and they might be released soon.

The other two on were arrested on 15 June have confessed to the crime on 16 June.They are Yogesh Lama and Salman, between 25 to 28 years of age.

Ajay Verma, a journalist and the Editor-in-Chief of Connecting Nations, a print and online media told The Bhutanese that the current two accused had stolen a goat earlier on 13 June morning and they sold it to get money to buy some N-10 tablets.

As per their confession, the plan was to have N-10 tablets with the girls whom they took on their bikes to Mechia Busty. The girls went with them as they were acquaintances. Ajay said that high on the tablets, the suspects started molesting the two girls. Yogesh raped one of the girls while the other managed to fight back.

The woman who had been raped said that she would file a police complaint. The duo then killed the two girls in cold blood manner to cover up their crime by cutting their throats. The knife or Khukuri used for the crime was also recovered by the Jaigaon police.

Yogesh and Salman are in police custody and the case is under further investigation.

The 26-year-old deceased worked in a Drayang a few years ago while the 22-year-old deceased worked in a parlor few years ago. They were unemployed during the time of incident.

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