The principal of Damphu Central School has denied all allegations made against him by the school cook, Harka Bahadur Subba, who went missing for almost nine days in Bangkok in January this year.

In the rebuttal submitted to Tsirang court yesterday, the principal refuted the claim by Harka Bahadur’s brother that he was handed over to the family on February 10. “The family did not accept him,” the principal said.

He alleged that the family members did not show any concern for Harka Bahadur and the school had to withdraw their consideration to bear his medical expenses.

The principal also questioned how Harka Bahadur returned with Thai Baht. “He went missing without even a penny in his hand. He has to prove who gave him that money,” he said.

Rebutting against the allegation that he did not accept Harka Bahadur back to work, the principal submitted before the court that he only asked the cook to prove his medical condition based on the Bhutan Civil Service Rules.

Harka Bahadur’s brother Bal Bahadur, who filed the case against the principal made three points of allegation against the principal during the preliminary hearing on July 20.

Bal Bahadur said that when his brother joined work after completion of his brother’s treatment in April, the principal instructed him to meet the Dzongkhag Education Officer (DEO). “The principal refused to let my brother join work although he produced a joining letter from the DEO,” he said. “The principal also told him he wouldn’t be paid and asked him to leave.”

Bal Bahadur claimed that Harka Bahadur went back to the DEO, where he was instructed to continue working but the principal did not accept him at job. “My brother got harassed in the process.”

The brother also claimed that on May 3, the dzongkhag human resource officer issued an office order stating that Harka Bahadur can continue his work. “Despite the order, the Principal did not allow him to continue his work.”

The principal also refuted the allegation that he issued a termination order on March 3.

He submitted before the court that he has no authority to terminate his staff. “I asked him to continue working but asked him to bring his family members to hand him over to school management committee,” he said.

The principal also submitted that he did not forge any documents while taking Harka Bahadur to Bangkok as an agriculture instructor.

He also refuted the claim that he was responsible for Harka Bahadur’s health condition when he returned. The principal said that the tour was spoilt since they had to look for him.

Harka Bahadur will submit his rebuttal on July 28.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang