Update: The assistant principal of Yebilaptsa Middle Secondary School has confessed to the murder of a class VII student of the school. He admitted of having strangulated the girl with the help of a hand towel (Assamese Gamcha).

The girl who went missing from the class around 1pm on October 16 was found dead with a towel tied around her neck. A search team found the deceased under the assistant principal’s bed. The accused was sleeping on the bed.

The accused was detained on the same night.

On interrogation, police found that on October 16, around 8:15am, the assistant principal had asked the deceased to go and lock his house during the school’s Socially Useful Productive Work (SUPW).

A press release from Royal Bhutan Police stated that the assistant principal had told the deceased about an illicit affair between his wife and the deceased’s father. After that the assistant principal went to his house, which is located outside the school campus, around 200 meters away. After the SUPW, the deceased went to the assistant principal’s house to seek clarification and evidence regarding the affair.

“The accused, disturbed by the affair pushed the deceased and then strangulated her with the towel,” the press release stated. “Ligature marks were found around the deceased’s neck.”

The medical examination ruled out sexual assault.

The accused is charged of voluntary manslaughter and the case will be forwarded to the Office of Attorney General.

Meanwhile, the Zhemgang dzongkhag and the school helped the parents of the deceased to conduct the cremation yesterday. Zhemgang officiating chief education officer, Karma Wangchuk, said two counsellors from Buli Middle Secondary School and Zhemgang Higher Secondary School visited the school to counsel the students. “The girls in the school were disturbed by the incident, but they are under control now,” he said.

The accused has been working with the school since 2004.  Karma Wangchuk said that the assistant principal was also the school’s scoutmaster and has been a focal person for many of the school’s programmes.

He said they had never encountered with any problem with the assistant principal.

“I have been working with him for almost six years. It is hard for me to believe that he has done something like this,” Karma Wangchuk said.

Dechen Tshomo