On 19 July 2021, Tsirang District Court convicted a 56-year-old man, Dil Bahadur Chhetri Neopani from Tsholingkhar, Tsirang to 30 years in prison in connection to molesting 10 girl students (classes II and III), age range between 9 years to 12 years. He is appealing to the High Court.
The molestation case was first reported to the Tsirang police in December 2019 when 8 students in a primary school were molested by the officiating principal.
The judgment also states that the defendant has to pay a compensation of Nu 90,000 to each of the 10 victims, and the compensation has to be paid within 10 days from the date of judgment by the court.
The judgment states that during the trail, the defendant’s lawyer made accusations against the police stating that the defendant’s statement was taken in absence of a witness, and that he was forced to give the statement confessing to the crime.
However, the court dismissed the charges against the police due to lack of evidence, and the court found that everything was done following a due legal process. The convict claimed that he had no ill intention to molest the students and that he only pinched them as a punishment.
Meanwhile, as per the source, though he does not have any criminal record, but he has a record of breaching the Royal Civil Service Commission’s Code of Conduct.
As per the section 19.9.5 of the Bhutan Civil Service Rules and Regulations 2012, his annual increment was withheld for the period of one year, and he was sent on an internal transfer without any benefits.
Back in 2019, police said that some of the students had complained against the suspect for ‘bad touch’.
As per section 204 of the Penal Code of Bhutan 2004, the offence of child molestation shall be a felony of the fourth degree which is 3 to 5 years imprisonment.