Police chief promises an inquiry and further action, if necessary Police 6 October, 2011 - Yangchenphug higher secondary school (YHSS) authorities have lodged a written complaint to the royal Bhutan police against the Thimphu police superintendent.
The officer had beat up a Class XII student on the afternoon of October 4, while he was waiting to see Buddha’s relics (Ringsel) displayed at Tendrelthang.
According to the 19-year-old commerce student, who suffered wounds on the head and bruises on the back from the beating, the incident occurred after the officer had asked the students to go home without seeing the sacred relics. The student then went up to request him that they would only go after seeing the relics, as they had waited for more than two hours.
The student alleged that, before he could complete his sentence, the officer shouted at him, caught him by the ‘kera’ and dragged him to the police control room, where the officer pushed, punched and kicked him.
The student alleged that he was then taken into another room inside and beaten again. “People working inside that room went out the moment they saw the officer, and he latched the door and continued beating me,” the student said.
He also alleged, pointing to a wound, that he became unconscious after the officer kicked him on the head.
The student also alleged that the officer then asked him to write an apology letter, stating that he was at fault for going against the police but, when he refused to write according to the instruction, the officer told the constables to take him to the police station. He said the officer came to the station an hour and half later, read out some clauses from a book, and said he had obstructed the police and was liable to a month in prison.
The student was, however, sent home in the evening.
A student, who was standing next to the victim, said he went to call friends after the officer dragged him, but they could not find where the officer had taken their friend in the crowd.
Another Class XII student, said a woman came running to him, telling him that a police officer was beating someone wearing the YHSS school uniform.
YHSS teachers expressed their disbelief and said it was totally disheartening. “We didn’t expect such things from people, who are supposed to uphold law and order,” a teacher said. “Such acts not only humiliated the student, but also threatened his life as he was taken into custody without informing the teachers.”
Another teacher, who taught the boy for about four years, said they were unhappy because it happened to a student, who would not go against anyone in school. The boy’s parents are in Lhamoizingkha to celebrate Dassain and on their way back after school authorities informed them about the incident.
The officer in question said he cannot make any comments because he is involved.
The police chief, Brigedier Kipchu Namgyel, said the police would institute an inquiry and see what went wrong, and will take action against the officer. “I’ll personally go to school and apologise to the teachers and students on Monday,” he said. The inquiry will be instituted after the important events in the coming weeks are over.
He also said that, although the student made a mistake by parting from the crowd and approaching the officer, they were children and should be dealt with differently. “Police don’t encourage manhandling,” he said.
Another police officer said the police were under a lot of stress and pressure, preparing for the coming important week.
Meanwhile, the long lines waiting at Tendrelthang on October 4 broke the moment it started raining heavily. They had to literally pull out people, who tried to jump the queue and send them back.