Tsirang district court yesterday sentenced a 31-year-old driver to two months in prison for creating false alarm during the prime election time.

The offence of false alarm is a petty misdemeanour.

The driver, Sangay Tenzin from Choekhor in Bumthang, can pay thrimthue of Nu 7,125 in lieu of prison term within 10 days.

He could pay thrimthue of a month and 27 days since he had already served three days in custody. He was arrested on September 13 night and released on September 17.

According to the judgment the incident happened in the new basic health unit (BHU) construction area in Patshaling gewog.

The judgment stated that at around 5pm of September 13, Sangay Tenzin was at the construction area to unload sand. “He had three pieces of firecrackers in his vehicle that he had taken from a friend whose vehicle he had helped repair the other day.”

The driver had taken the firecrackers from the other driver thinking it would help frighten and chase away monkey in his farm in Bumthang. “After unloading the sand that night, he lit the crackers to test if it sparkled.”

The sparkle landed him in custody after six hours. “The driver pleaded to the court that his act was unintentional and did not intend to scare or cause fear among the locality,” the judgment stated.

It also stated that he played with firecrackers at a prime election time, two days before the primary election poll day. The sparkle created fear and worry about the nearby residents.

The driver was charged for creating false alarm according to section 488 of the Penal Code of Bhutan 2004, which states, “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of false alarm, if the defendant circulates a report or warning of an impending bombing or other catastrophe knowing that the report or warning is false or baseless and that it is likely to cause public inconvenience or alarm.”

Nirmala Pokhrel   | Tsirang