Chencho Dema | Punakha 

Wangdue police are investigating an alleged manhandling case involving two Dangchu gewog officials and a monk.

The gewog’s caretaker Gyem Tshering, 35, accused the gup and a monk of manhandling him. Both the gup and monk refuted the allegations.

Gyem Tshering said that the monk approached him and asked for a room to keep supplies for the kurim, which was being carried out by the gewog and the local monastery.

“I told him that I don’t have the authority to offer store space and that both of us don’t know about an office order authorising it. Instead, I advised the in-charge to seek approval from the office of agriculture and livestock,” he said. 

The livestock official who was with the caretaker asked for approval from the livestock office. Since there was no room available, the monk, Sangay Nidup, called the gup.

Gyem Tshering said that the monk had indicated that the caretaker had stated that the gup has no authority to provide instructions or offer a place to store the things.

“Following the arrival of the gup, Sangay Nidup began to verbally attack me and even attempted to assault me before being restrained by the other monk who had been with him,” Gyem Tshering alleged.

The caretaker said the gup then yelled at him and said that he had grudges against the gup because of the LG election which the former gup his cousin lost to the present gup. “He then dragged me towards the office while pulling me by my gho, but I fought him off. He left the scene after punching me three times in the chest.”

Police collected the caretaker’s statement from the gewog’s primary healthcare center where he was admitted with bruises on his right chest. The medical report did not mention any serious injuries.

The livestock official said that the caretaker and the monk were arguing. “But I was unable to witness anything after that because I left them,” he said.

Gup Phub Dorji, however, refuted the allegations. He said he had not assaulted him or even raised his voice.

“The monk and Gyem Tshering were arguing, and when they were about to fight, I stopped them,” the gup said.

The gup said that Gyem Tshering was bent on defaming him and that he has for long held grudges against him after he won the LG elections.

“Today I am so shocked and scared that people can go to any extent to ruin me,” the gup said.

Sangay Nidup, the monk, said that he called the gup to seek help to resolve the problem of space to store the things for the kurim.

“After the call, I went somewhere, and when I returned, the gup had already arrived and was speaking with Gyem Tshering. Then the gup asked me what had happened. When I told the gup what Gyem Tshering told me, the latter denied having said anything,” he said.

He alleged that Gyem Tshering became angry and was lying. “He then came storming at me, and I also got angry and were lunging at each other when the gup separated us. The gup asked me to go. I don’t know what happened after that. I left,” he said.

Wangdue police gathered statements from all those involved in the case.