Earlier in April this year, the former Dzongda and JDWNRH President, Lhab Dorji, stabbed and assaulted an ACC Director while his family members assaulted an ACC Commissioner in the Supreme Court premises.
The incident was a massive security failure and so it is good that following the incident the RBP has beefed up security at the Tashichhodzong, Supreme Court and the Parliament.
The incident broke an unspoken trust between the RBP and the people visiting these important public institutions that nothing untoward would happen.
It has become like the 9/11 incident which fundamentally changed and made air travel much more painful with X-ray scans, people not allowed to carry many things, having to open their shoes, belts and sometimes find the locks broken on their suitcases as airport security in western countries thought they saw something suspicious in the baggage.
While the Lhab Dorji incident was an important reminder to strengthen security, it should not become our 9/11 of sorts and hamper ordinary citizens trying to access services at these places.
For example, when you go to the Tashichhodzong you are asked if you have an appointment or not and where are you going by the RBP. The RBP then calls inside to ask if it is okay to let the person through.
This is not an ideal situation for illiterate villagers coming from far off places to these public institutions as they will neither have an appointment, and also have a real chance of being turned away by a PA or PS inside as Lyonpo or Dasho is too busy or in a meeting.
It is also inconvenient for the educated or urban folks as your entry into these places could be at the mercy of the mood and whims of an official inside.
While security should be strengthened it does not make sense to create additional red tape and hamper the access of ordinary citizens to these places.
On a side note, on the day of the incident while some journalists who came there were thoroughly frisked no one bothered to do so for Lhab Dorji and his entourage, probably because the police on duty may have though it is below Lhab Dorji’s dignity. The rest is history.
So it may be more important to follow established rules and procedures without making exceptions than creating new and unnecessary ones.
By Tenzing Lamsang