There has been national outrage at a assault case in Wamrong where the wife a Drangpon there allegedly assaulted the wife of a cleaner with subsequent allegations that due process was not followed.
The alleged battery incident took place on 26 April and the case was reported to the police on 27 April at around 8:30 pm.
The RBP said that according to some signed eyewitness accounts, the issue first started when alleged victim’s 18-year-old son and the alleged suspect had exchanged some words. The RBP quoting eyewitnesses said the Drangpon’s wife entered the house of the alleged victim after the son used some slang words.
However, the 38-year-old mother, the alleged victim, has a different account.
She stated that her son did not start the tussle because he was inside the house during the time of the incident. She said that her house is close to the Drangpon’s house, and on the day of the incident, she was outside in her kitchen garden planting garlic.
The suspect, who is the wife of the Drangpon, had verbally attacked her the moment she spotted her in the kitchen garden, and demanded that she remain out of her sight.
“I did not say anything and instead stood respecting her. My son called me inside the house the moment she came towards me. I went inside my house leaving the planting. My husband and my kids tried to stop her, but from nowhere, she pulled my hair after coming inside the house. That is the only thing that I remember. But later on, I started having a severe pain in my neck,” she said.
She said that the Drangpon called them to his house to question them and further went on to delete the video clip of the Drangpon’s wife pulling the alleged victim’s hair. The clip had been taken by her younger 14-year-old son.
“He (Drangpon) took the mobile and deleted the clip saying it may go viral and is illegal,” she said, and further adding, “We did not want to report the incident to the police thinking that she is the wife of my husband’s boss and thinking that the injury wasn’t serious. I expected for a call of concern from them, but I did not get any. The pain was intense, and thereby, my brother lodged a complaint.”
She said that she withdrew the case once because she was told that a compromise on the case would be better for both the parties. Moreover, she was told that if she went ahead with the case then it would affect her son’s chances of getting a no objection certificate (NOC).
However, her neck pain worsened and this led to her father lodging another complaint with the police against the alleged suspect.
She said she was admitted in Riserboo hospital twice to treat the intense neck pain.
She said, “The doctor, at first, said I can stay in hospital until I recover, but later on, he refused to keep me, saying I can go home. This happened after a talk between doctor and Officer Commanding (OC). I do not know why this happened during my second time of admission in the hospital.”
Since her pain did not get better, she went to the Mongar Referral Hospital on 5 May, whereby she was admitted and stayed in hospital for 11 days.
She said that the alleged suspect has been mistreating her and her family for quite some time now, so much so that they have to hide from the alleged suspect to even leave the house. The alleged suspect has charged her on various occasions, she said, adding other people that work under the Drangpon are also subjected to the same cruelty.
The victim told the writer that the writer was the first to call her on the issue.
The OC said that the allegations against the RBP is not true, and it may have come up as the alleged suspect has also charged the alleged victim and her son for assault. “Both the parties can be liable in battery cases,” he said.
The police was to register the case based on the first report, however, the victim wanted to withdraw the case. But on 4 May, the father of the alleged victim came saying they would want to register the case, and accordingly they did.
After registering the case and after thorough investigation, the case was charge-sheeted to the court on 21 May.
The OC said, “There was a delay in charge-sheeting the case as the medical report from Mongar hospital was delayed, which we got on 20 May though we asked for it on 11 May.”
The Drangpon’s wife has confessed to trespassing, but she denied battering the alleged victim. However, police charged her for battery as per the evidence they got against her.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer, Riserboo hospital, Dr Kinley Dorji, said that the alleged victim came to hospital and she shared how she sustained the neck injury from the incident. However, she said they did not lodge a complaint with the police.
“I treated her and no serious injuries were seen. Only an abrasion was visible on her chest. She was given the option to get admitted or to go home. They chose to go home and thereby we prescribed a painkiller. We advised her to come back if the pain remains the same,” he said.
The second time she came with a complaint of pain, she was sent to Kanglung hospital for a X-ray procedure as the X-ray machine in Resirboo hospital was not functioning. The X-ray report, however, showed no fracture. But since she was in pain, the hospital consulted with a doctor from Mongar hospital, he said.
He said, “She was in hospital for a few days and since she was getting better, we advised her to go home, taking painkillers rather than being in a hospital occupying a bed.”
Since her pain remained the same, she went to Mongar hospital, whereby a CT scan report showed fracture in the outer cortex of left lamina of C2 (cervical spine) vertebra, which is non-displaced and not compressing the spinal cord, he said.
She is diabetic and also has hypertension. She is undergoing physiotherapy at the moment in Riserboo hospital.
Drungpa Sangay Phuntsho of Wamrong Drungkhag said that he was dragged into the case unnecessarily. He had no idea about the incident, and moreover, he said he does not know the alleged victim or her husband. “I did not react on the first post, however, there was a second post, whereby I had to react and had to call RBP for enquiry,” he added.
He said that getting dragged unnecessarily affects family relations, and leaves everyone in shock. “Alleging someone in social media is not right, and whoever does that should be penalized, as per the law,” he said.
The case was initially charge-sheeted to the Wamgrong District Court, after which it was forwarded the case to the Trashigang Dzongkhag Court, due to the conflict of interest of the Drangpon’s wife and the Drangpon.
However, in an updated development The Supreme Court has announced that the it shall direct another Drangpon to hear the case at the Wamrong Dungkhag Court to avoid inconveniences and to preserve the right to appeal to the Dzongkhag Court for the aggrieved party.
The distance would have been inconvenient for the alleged victim who has a neck injury as well.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has asked the Wamrong Dungkhag Drangpon to furnish a report of Wamrong incident.
The SC said the Judiciary will do its utmost in ensuring that Justice is served expeditiously as warranted under the laws of the country. The SC said the Judiciary understands the public concern for Justice in the Wamrong battery case.
It said according to the Constitution, all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal and effective protection of the law and shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, language, religion, politics or other status.
The SC said the Judiciary would like to reassure that it will not allow any professional association or familial relationship to hamper the administration of Justice. The due process of law will be followed to give a free and fair trial for both the suspect and victim as per the rule of law.
The Drangpon’s wife said she will talk only after the final judgment from the court comes out, and that for now, she has nothing to comment.