Gup and gang allegedly batter villager over water source

Lhakpa Tamang, 28, is recovering from the injuries inflicted on him after the Tading Gup and his four staff allegedly assaulted him on the evening of April 9 at his village in Samtse.

The incident happened after he along with the parents and younger brother was called to the gewog office that day.

Prior to calling at the gewog office, the victim and a villager named Hem Raj Moktan had a dispute over the disruption of a water source. The Gup, sources said is a relative of Hem Raj Moktan.

When they reached the Gup office, Hem Raj Moktan, accused the victim saying he was a thief. The victim asked to prove the allegation. The gup, then allegedly latched the door and dragged the victims mother to the floor.

Then the Gup caught hold of victim’s younger brother, Dawa Dorji Tamang neck. The victim rushed to separate the Gup and his brother but five people present at the office caught hold of the victim and were battered him.

However, both brothers managed to escape from the scene. The incident took place at the Gup’s office at Sherabling (Jechu Gaon).

Before they could react or inform the police about the incident, the Gup had already called up the police and filed a report against them stating the two brothers under the influence of alcohol and drugs had attacked him and his office staff.

Then the younger brother received a call from police, asking why he got into a fight and asked not to repeat it.

The Tading Gup denied the allegations and said Lhakpa and his brother were called to his office for a discussion.

The 39-year old Gup said,” later the two brothers came to my office, charged me and my Mangmi. They were pointing fingers and showing temper. But we did not raise hands on them.”

But Lhakpa Tamang said he wanted to stop the fight involving Gup Ashok Tamang, DYT Sherman Ghalley, Chipon Phurpa Singh Tamang, Messenger Ramay Chhettri, Hem Raj Moktan and Birendra Moktan. “They jointly beat us in the Gewog Office,” he told The Bhutanese.

The next day, Lhakpa approached the nearest police station at Phuentsholing for help however the case was forwarded to Samtse police due to jurisdiction issues.

“I reported the matter to the Samtse OC and produced the medical report from Phuentsholing hospital and Thimphu hospital but the OC refused to accept my medical report and asked me to bring the medical report from Samtse,” Lhakpa added.

A case has now been registered with the Samtse police station and the investigation has begun. The police refused to comment on the issue.

The medical reports of Lhakpa mentioned that there were bruises on the body of the victim and he had lost his ability to speak. The victim has not regained his voice.

“ With the fear that, they might kill me, I did not go back to my village. Even my villagers, said that the Gup is too powerful to take as in opponent,” Lhakpa said.

With the hope that he will get justice, he is waiting for the case to reach to the court.

No one has been arrested so far.

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