RBP investigating how illegal items were found in Chamgang

The Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) is strictly monitoring and investigating on how prison inmates were able to get hold of various items that they should not be having, as per the Prison Act. Police shared that the inmates had access to mobile phones, drugs and weapons.

The issue came into light after a video went viral on social media, where inmates in Chamgang Central Prison in Thimphu protested within the prison compound seeking for justice.

The claims made in the video by the inmates are also being investigated. If inmates were manhandled by the officer in-charge, as claimed in the video, then there will be further investigations. Manhandling of prisoners is not allowed, as per the rules.

It was learnt that there are many miscellaneous things happening inside the prison despite checking from time to time to see if any illegal items are brought inside the prison, or if anything suspicious is happening within the inmates.

According to RBP, inmates act tough when the police are trying to do their job of checking them. When not being allowed to do what they want then the inmates create a hue and cry inside the prison.

RBP has also observed that some of the inmates undergoing skills training as carpenters, or those that do carpentry works within the compound, seems to have misused the opportunity by taking sharp carpentry tools as weapons in the prison.

An official from RBP said, “We used to get so many visitors visiting the inmates, and it is mostly passed through the visitors. The inmate seems to have contacts with their friends and relatives outside through mobile phones, which they have concealed inside,” he added.

He added that RBP has been alerted that some of the police personnel are involved in handing the illegal items to the inmates. If the investigation finds any police personal involved then there will not be any excuses, and the matter will be dealt as per the law. RBP is not taking anything for granted this time, he added.

“We will have to see what are the lapses and how the things have taken place. We will also see on how we can plug in those lapses, and thereby, if there is a need of bringing changes to the SOPs, then we will do it, for sure.”

He added that while the country is offering criminals with shelter, and making sure they are protected, but, in return, the inmates are going overboard and behaving in an unruly manner.

Though no major issues have been reported, small things keep happening, which RBP is trying to sort out.  He added that there are inmates who rile up and instigate other fellow inmates to create problems.  

Things are happening at some extent because of the command and control by the concerned officers, he said. “If we have a proper command and control system in place, this should not happen. Such incidences, directly or indirectly, reflect the command and control of that particular unit,” he added.

RBP investigation will abide by the Prison Act and the Police Act, and accordingly, those involved will be held liable. He added that those who fail to justify will be dealt as per the law.

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