Police refuse to register harassment case

The Woman and Child Protection Unit (WCPU) of Phuentsholing police station refused to register the harassment case of a 27-year old on 18 April.

Yangchen (name changed on request), is an employee with a private firm based in Phuentsholing. She reported to the Phuentsholing police station after she received numerous calls from a person from an unknown number who not only disturbed her but also abused her verbally.

She said she was shocked to learn that despite registering the case, she was asked by the law-upholding officials to change her number and was told that they ‘do not entertain such cases’

“No wonder why the person bothering me kept telling me that he did not fear police even if I reported the matter. I understand now what he meant. If this is how we are treated then where shall we go to knock for justice,” Yangchen asked.

The OC of the unit said due to lack of budget such cases are not entertained as budget for stationeries and telephone has been slashed.


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  1. ridiculous justification. i wonder if yangchen can file a case in a court of law?

  2. pathethic and helpless…

  3. I would like to thank the Bhutanese for having published the above story. However, what shocked me is the fact that the paper didn’t take time to verify the facts and details of the case before printing it. This has not only left me questioning about the paper’s credibility but also about the absence of ethical practices by the paper.

    I would like to inform the paper and the general readers that the lady had approached my office complaining about the harassment. However, as a standard practice, I have given her professional advises and had also asked her to come back if the harassment continued because when she had come, I was pursuing another case in hand. However, instead of coming back, she went to the paper and falsely alleged that her case was not registered. In this context, I would like to inform the media and the general public that she had not formally lodged the complaint to the police and there was a need to study the situation in depth.

    We hope that the Bhutanese will take time to publish unbiased news items also verify the facts and details before printing it.

    Captain Sonam Choden

    • Dear Captain,
      Does it mean you cannot pursue more than one case simultaneously??? And how do we formally lodge complaints?? I think it is all about writing and giving…why didn’t you ask her to do that instead of sending her back with usual advice???

    • Apologies to the Bhutanese, it seems that my post has not been removed, thanks Lamsang.

    • The Bhutanese people know TheBhutanese very well. Always biased news… 

      • but we also know it is the only paper in the country which has shown appreciable courage to take on those who were considered untouchable in the past or news considered sensitive news. 

        • I agree, at the same time why can’t they be more objective in their reporting, don’t you think, it would make the Bhutanese even more better.

    • It is not as easy as people in this forum and paper thinks. There is something called due process and it starts with filing of complaint…. If case is registered, who knows “yangchen” would be jailed in other ways!! man wouldnt have said such things without yangchen’s provocation!! 

      • i called up 113 right after  the incident . i was asked to come down near the boarder gate to complain.it was in the middle of the night. i couldn’t go. i went to the concern officer the next morning with my office driver. told her everything in detail… i was not told to get my complaints on paper or what so ever. 
        the very first time, he said he would like to speak to …. ( Designation) of …..( coime name), i politely said it a wrong no. he calls again, said he wants to talk to Yangchen. i said i don’t have time for all these and not to call again and i hanged again. he did’t stop. 5th ring i answered the phone- this time he say, “Gache Baoe, tu drim kha kha bay”, i asked who would this be? – He said. ” jay boom inn” then i pretended to be elder sister- told him this not the way how he speaks to strangers and that i would put it up to the police. he said hes not scared of the police and i can go ahead. then this is what he has to say” datara  Ashim da Num da Abu lay chab boe dongkha la tentang young mey”- i called up 113 three right away then.  he did not stop.. kept callin me for another hour. 


    • Flabbergasted

      People come to the Police to file charges or report incidences and expect the Police to solve the problems. They don’t come to Police to get advice.

      By sending her away and not registering the case, you are not studying the situation in depth. You are just forgetting about the situation and excusing yourself of work that you are required to do.

    • Druk Highlight

      While the explanation from the OC is great for the readers, it’s also worth considering why the woman “Yangchen” felt the need to seek protection from harassment and verbal abuse? I’d think it was logical of her to seek the help of the police when under distress or fear.
      The OC’s advice to the woman – “come back if the harassment continued” sounds reasonable, BUT what if the victim has had enough of the harassment and verbal abuse, and as a last resort – had come to the police station for help? Couldn’t the other police officers at the station, have helped the woman to register a formal harassment charge –when the OC was so busy with the other case in hand? If the OC had the time to give professional advise the woman – then surly the OC must have had some time to register a formal complaint? Or is there a peak level at which the police consider the harassment and verbal abuses as potential dangers? Statistics prove that harassment and abuses via phone, or other modes – can build up to more grievous crimes. Is there a mark on how much is too much a verbal abuse and harassment by Police standards?
      Bhutan prides itself as a peaceful and safe nation – where women’s rights are respected. I think the RBP contributes to that equation, but we would like to see more follow-up service from the police to people who are experiencing violence and intimidation in their lives. The women at risk need the professional advice AND proactive measures and action from the police, to make Bhutan the safest place to live and work in South Asia.

    • Dear Captain and Royal Bhutan Police,

      It only takes a moment judge your commitment to serve the people and intelligence to assess a situation. What  is the standard to judge your so called “continued harassment ” a helpless ones could draw your attention. Dear Chief of Police, perhaps, you need to support her with some able officers. From her statement, one can only understand that none other than “THE CAPTAIN”  read or write in her office. I thought our police officers( i mean non commissioned officers) are  competent at reading and writing.

    • It is reasonable for Captain to have given her an advice, and it should be done. People cant just overreact to some silly comments from unknown callers. There are people who get scolded for having called wrong number by mistakes, and the other side they don’t understand that the caller is innocent.
      But again if does have the right to complain if the abuse is severe. Also the complainer had the option of coming back again, if the abuse had continued.
      So Ms. Captain was right in doing her duty. 

    • You could have asked here to file a complaint rather than sending her back and i think she might have reported to your good office verbally at least. “The OC of the unit said due to lack of budget such cases are not entertained as budget for stationeries and telephone has been slashed” this is your lame excuse. 

  4. The reason Police has given for not entertaining the harassment case is flimsy and illogical. I am sure police can register case on even a small piece of paper.
    The catch word in Bhutanese system for any inaction is “NO BUDGET” .

    I guess the poor girl has to find other ways to counter such harassment.

  5. Vision of the Royal Bhutan Police is “to make Bhutan the safest place to live and work in South Asia” And we have an OC who refused to entertain such case because of the slashed in stationaries and telephone buidget is reason enough. What a paradox!

  6. When i read the police OC’s comment, automatically i laughed looking at the computer screen in front of me. My friends around me thought that i was crazy not realizing what i was reading was more crazy. What one must know is, in bhutan victims are more victimized.

    • For me there is no reason to laugh, If the defedent is not guilty there is no reason to change her name here. Police too cannot entertain all the complaints these days there are lots of false cases. If the case is genune Yangchen should insist and there is ASP and Sp superior to OC where she can seek the help.

  7. wow.. what a safe place our country is!!!!,.. The police is doing the great job!
    I salute u captain 🙂
    if a woman officer doesn’t understand such a problem, who would understand?

  8. What a silly excuse!……..the culprit should be sued!!!

  9. I am flabbergasted by the response from our people, even after the lady police officer concerned has given her version of events, they still believe this paper. And this is not the first time this paper has printed stories without verifying facts on the ground, for the Bhutanese, it seems it is okay to shoot first and ask questions later. While I agree that police work in Bhutan is mostly shoddy, at least in this case, until this paper proves otherwise, we have to give the benefit of the doubt to the police officer being maligned as she has taken some time off to come and explain her position.

    If we are to believe this paper and not the OC. this paper needs to prove that they indeed contacted her and received the ridiculous answer they have printed, that such a dumb reason would be provided by a well educated police officer is hard to believe, otherwise, like I have always been saying, this paper and the trigger happy tool called Tenzing Lamsang  have no ethics at all.

    • Druk Highlight

      This story serves as a wake up call to RBP to do their jobs well. Their shoddy work will not be tolerated by the public any longer. And public deserve to be informed on such matters as we want our women to be safe and secure. It was brave of women like “Yangchen” to report on such a case to the paper. Bravo!

      • I salute women like “yangchen”, at the same time, we also have to give the benefit of the doubt to the OC.

  10. Cmmn….they are busy making budget since there is no budget.The bribery story about the involvement of traffic police officer ….says it all.

  11. Captain Sonam Choden has answered tay wai. We Bhutanese are good at making judgement as soon as we hear one sided story. 

  12. How can you send the person back on the pretext of dealing with a case already. In the first place, she would not have come to the Police if she didn’t have serious problem. People like to avoid dealing with Police. Her case should have been registered anyway. Wha kind of excuse is that…. Go back and wait  until it gets worse..then come to Police. if this is th kind of attitude our police have..God help us.

  13. I request this paper to kindly verify and investigate the issue before bringing it into public notice. It is causing unnecessary chaos and disorder in our society. Journalism should be strongly and highly a responsible, ethical and factual institution.

  14. This paper has no ethic everyone knows. It published draft audit report of airport projects to malign MOIC Minister before parliament wound up.

  15. I think paper is hungry for news and thats why they went ahead with news even without verification.
    Media as fouth estate is supposed to have CONSCIENCE which in other words means that it should do better job than just maligning someone. Bhutanese has done such thing many times in the past without proper verification and I am not surprised that they have done it again. They probably won’t stop here also but it doesn’t seem right for a newspaper to report only one side of opinion. Whatever the police officer said is quoted from the mouth of so called victim of harrasment. Bhutanese didn’t “quote” the officer.
    Scrappy job. Nothing personal….just biased, unprofessional and incompetent work on the part of newspaper team.

    • I think Bhutanese used second hand “quote” which is so unprofessional. They could at least have some decency to call and find out the truth.

      • In the age of technology, someone can just pick up phone and ask???????? did newspaper do that job?

        • Druk Highlight

          The story would have never surfaced had the complaint been taken and lodged the time the woman came down to the police station, to do just that! The OC can find the time to clarify on a story, but not to take down a complaint? Poor time management.

          • The OC has explained herself very well, now it is this paper’s turn to prove what she said was wrong.

  16. TheBhutanese will soon write a news saying Captain Sonam Choden should be investigated by Anti-corruption with the help of Dhog Chog Go Thrip!!

  17. Captain,
    I find it hard to really agree with your justifcations. Lodge complaints? I have seen police registering complaints even when they recieve calls, and then ivestigate. Many examples. The very fact she had come to your office is justifiable enough that she had lodge complaint.

  18. This newspaper has become a legal court for those who simply like to complain.

    • I think the Paper like ‘The bhutanese’ would not only act like a court room giving justice but other papers would also do the same when justices are given to people. And i dont find anything wrong Media doing such thing. 

  19. Pity that that lady couldn’t one more night when she had waited and received many calls. It is also pity she couldn’t block the number of harassers. She wanted miracle tablet from Police.

    On the other hand captain shouldn’t have explained nicely the procedures of such comparatively minor case when they had to concern with security, theft and physical assault cases in daily lives in such busy city and porous border.

    It seems the lady came to police station just to take revenge on something or may be it was tone of police officer that insulted her. This is just my conspiracy theory assumption. May be the Bhutanese has some scores to settle with the police lady because anonymous name means ‘there is no one in real’ some one sent by by The Bhutanese to irritate police.

  20. The Bhutanese has become voice of helpless people and place to express unprecedented happening(injustice) taking place in Bhutan. I support Mr.Lamsang and team and hope and pray to see more Lamsang and media like the Bhutanese in future.
    Regarding justification given by lady officer, it is surprising that, lady has crossed her limit being a member of Police force. She is not suppose to come out publicly to justify the case without the permission from the seniors. As old saying goes” No smoke without fire” so some thing is wrong some where in policing system.

  21. We already have another Lamsang in the form of Kadola. I don’t think we need more people of that nature because it is an unprofessional journalism.

  22. Do we need budget to solve this case. Funny OC. Send her out of the department. The lady must file the case against this police officer.

  23. Apologies to Bhutanese? The heck…These paper and lady shud apologies 4 lies


  25. I believe the officer in charge was a female. Despite being a woman, how could she let go off such a serious case. I do not think Yangchen wanted to file “First Information Report” just upon being called or harassed once by the caller. Its obvious here, that the act was redundant and it became intolerable. 
    I believe that the officer asked the victim to change her mobile number. She made things sound so simple. If this is the professional advice a trained officer who solemnly pledged the LAW ENFORCEMENT OATH has in store for women like Yangchen, then i think its high time the officer either forsake her job or scrutinize the case all over. Otherwise, my instinct says its not just yangchen the caller would dare to haress every night. There could be other lot of frustrated females who should be going through similar traumatic emotions. 
    We agree the police officer could have had other cases going on in her mind, but the point here is, if only she had taken immediate appropriate police action, a lot more similar cases could have been be lessened. And the fact that this type of misconducts not being deemed severe by the police becomes widespread and extensive, then the conclusion is comprehensible. a day might come, when such crooks start calling the FEMALE POLICE THEMSELVES. i then see the same professional advice being needed by them the most. and helplessly follow it. Hail the Caller, who must be still rejoicing the fact that he outdid the law. 

  26. Defox – will you be able to pass the same comment had the victim here been your sister, wife or anyone closely related to you? Will you be able to abide such incompetent directives from the POLICE? The tone of the police officer has got nothing to do with her stirred up composure, It is the negligence of duty she is not happy with. 
    And the Police officers in Bhutan have become so impolite now. They would rather threaten to detain the complainer if they are not addressed as “Dashos” or do not bow lowly infront of them. The Bureaucratic system is already cramped with Dashos. 

    Kezang and Sonam Tenzin: When POLICE can confidently state that they are short of budget to call and arrest a wrongdoer, i do not see any need for the Bhutanese to call and get a detailed report on the incident. Now lets weigh it, i think the police having to solve  this case is more important than the Media having to inform the people. 

    I think the POLICE need improve their service standards. They are the ones we should reliably lean on to in times of dire straits. We are all equally burdened with work, its not just the POLICE. We just have to learn to multi-task and get stronger. Every work is complicated and challenging in their own terms. “lets curb crime” together. and if some one disregards his or her duty, then they should definitely be highlighted. 

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