Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

Mongar district court yesterday conducted the first hearing of a case involving 16 men from Ngatshang gewog for alleged violation of public order and tranquillity.

The men had allegedly played archery during the second lockdown in January this year.

There were three groups of men alleged of playing archery during the lockdown. They said that they had played for about an hour in the evening in a festive mood at an archery range near their homes far from the road.

Some submitted that they were trying their newly bought compound bows and arrows at an archery range for three rounds within their village.

The archers submitted that they thought it was allowed as farmers could get back to their farms and that people in the chiwog were allowed to do shopping from identified shops.

The archers submitted that it was unintentional and requested the court to pardon them. “Archery is our traditional sport which we are closely connected with and we were in a losar mood,” one of the players, Norbu submitted.

Another player, Sonam Tshering, from Domlung village in Peshuphu chiwog said, “Our village is the second farthest in the chiwog and there are only about three households above ours. We used to play archery every losar.”

The men had allegedly played archery on Nyilo and the police charged them for violation of public order and tranquillity.

The court also conducted a rebuttal hearing of the case involving eight women from Thrindangbi village, Saling gewog. They allegedly played khuru on Nyilo. Police charged the women for violating public order and tranquillity.

They submitted that they were all close neighbours and that they played for fun in an informal setting under the influence of alcohol after celebrating Nyilo at home.

The next hearing for both the cases is expected to take place on February 10.