ACC looking into origins of dubious Lungtenphug holdings

Update: The Anti Corruption Commission is investigating the origin of the 33-decimal land at Lungtenphug belonging to former Chang gup Naku’s daughter.

The commission had, in October, issued a freeze notice on the land, together with 11 landowners.  The land in question, according to sources, initially measured 19 decimals only.  A complaint letter to ACC states that there are no proper documents with the Thimphu thromde, under which the land falls, to authenticate the source of the land. “Since the land records available with the thromde had undergone cosmetic surgery before handing over by the erstwhile department of survey and land records, the records doesn’t reveal any history of the plot,” the letter to ACC stated.

The letter quotes a former tshogpa, Dhomchu, who, it states, had raised concern when the former gup registered the land in his daughter’s name. “The tshogpa reiterated that, during the new sathram compilation time in 2000-02, when Naku was the gup, the tshogpa had objected to the registration during the survey as well as in one of the meetings at the dzongkhag level.”

The former tshogpa, who is now 84, said he couldn’t remember anything, as it happened a long time ago. “I can’t remember what I said yesterday. How will I remember what I raised in a meeting many years ago?”

Another former tshogpa, however, verified that his colleague had told the zomdu (meeting) that the land would brew problem in future as it was registered without proper legal procedures. “The gup had then claimed that the land was dropped from his daughter’s thram,” he said, requesting anonymity. “The land actually wasn’t in the present location.”

On verifying the chagzag thram with the National Land Commission, it was found that the land originally measured 12 decimals.  The 12-decimal land, according to the chagzag thram, was gifted by one Namgay Bidha.  Kuensel couldn’t trace Namgay Bidha, who is believed to have expired now.

It is not known if the land was purchased from others and increased from 12 to 33 decimals.  The daughter, Namgay Wangmo, in whose name the land is registered, didn’t want to comment.

However, sources said that Namgay Bidha, a former Thimphu landowner, had migrated to Shar Phayul in Wangduephodrang a long time ago.  ACC and land commission officials had gone to Phayul to investigate.

The land records at Thimphu thromde didn’t mention anything about the origin of the land.

Some sources said that the land belonged to  the dratsang, Tharagonpa lhakhang above Lungtenphuarmy camp.

By Ugyen Penjore

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