Three chorten’s vandalized in one night, 7 suspects arrested

In just one night, three chortens in two different gewogs of Punakha were vandalized by miscreants on the night of May 16.

Of the three chortens, two were vandalized in Shenga Bjemi gewog in Punakha and a 30-year-old suspect was arrested on May 18.

Following a tip off, the police have arrested four more   suspects in the middle of the night on May 21. Again, two more suspects were arrested last week from Punakha, taking the total number of suspects to seven.

Some of the suspects are in their early 20’s and 30’s.

Four of the suspects are farmers from Shenga Bjemi gewog while the 3 0-year¬old suspect also owns a taxi without a license. Some of the villagers had seen his taxi   parked near the incident site early in the morning and that had led to arrest of the suspect.

The suspects have confessed to the crime and the police have recovered a few of the Nangtens, but not all were recovered as some of the items were discarded by the suspects.

The third chorten was vandalized in Lingmukha gewog in Punakha. As of now, no suspects have been arrested and the police are still  investigating the case.

A man living near the chorten, upon seeing the chorten vandalized, had immediately reported the matter to the tshogpa of the gewog, who had then informed to the Gup.

Unconfirmed reports state a Zhabdrung statue, three religious books, zee (etched agate) without eyes and some other priceless items were left behind on the site. The items are to be kept under the care of the man living near the chorten until the renovation of the chorten is complete.

A source said a special police investigation team was deployed to investigate the case.

Meanwhile, the police have refused to share information with media stating that it would hamper their investigation.

Chencho Dema

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