Going by Bhutanese laws, committing suicide or attempting suicide is not an offence, but assisting a suicide is regarded as a crime. Perhaps for this reason those who rest their final decisions on this self-terminating move are most prominently increasing in numbers.
Records maintained with the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) stated that 58 cases of suicide were recorded in 2001, followed by 53 cases in 2008, and 49 cases in 2009. In 2011, there were 41 cases of suicide.
In the month of June alone, four suicide cases were reported, one in the capital and the other two cases were reported in Wangdue Phodrang and in Trashigang.
A recent suicide case was that of a 28-year-old man in Phobjikha, Wangduephodrang on the night of June 29.
The deceased is survived by his wife and three children. It was learnt that the deceased was a farmer and an alcoholic. Prior to his death, the man had gone to work at his elder sister’s house construction. His wife and three children had gone to a relative’s place.
On that particular night, the deceased had gone home, bolted the latch from inside, and hanged himself.
The next morning, when the wife returned home she saw the lifeless body of her husband hanging from the ceiling of their house. The matter was immediately reported to the tshogpa, who then informed police about the incident.
Foul play was ruled out and the body was handed over to the family members.
The other suicide case was that of a young college student on the morning of June 27 in the capital. The young man’s death was met with shock and despair in the capital among friends, colleagues, and the city’s outgoing crowd as the deceased was a rising talent and a popular singer in the country.
There was also a case reported on the night of June 18, that of a 24-year-old man who committed suicide. It was also learnt that the victim was known to be an alcoholic and married with no child.
The incident occurred in Nyisho gewog of Wangdue Phodrang. The deceased was a farmer by occupation.
The fourth case was reported in Trashigang where a non-national had committed suicide.
Chencho Dema/ Thimphu