Following the video of a man bullying another, which went viral on Facebook and WeChat on June 28, Thimphu police has detained four men.
The video that was taken about a month ago depicts the 24-year old slapping and making another boy kiss his shoes and prostrate.
The video shared by one of the victim’s family members went viral on social media on June 28.
The victim is a first year boarding student of Royal Thimphu College (RTC).
The 24-year-old alleged bully was detained at Tala, Chukha on June 28 and brought to Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) headquarters in Thimphu yesterday for investigation. The other three were detained yesterday, one from Paro and two from Thimphu.
Thimphu police said that the detainees would be charged on basis of the degree of their offence, liability and nature of involvement.
Police said they started investigating as soon as they learnt about the video. “We were able to identify the alleged bully from the video and were able to arrest him the same evening.”
In such social media cases such as defamation, harassment, ill treatment and molestation, the police said that even if there is no complaint filed, if it is a criminal offence and within RBP mandate, the police would investigate. “RBP will continue to take stringent action on such issues.”
The police is investigating the case.
Thimphu police also clarified that the incident did not take place within the college campus and that it occurred near Ngabiphu, on the way to the college.
A press release from RTC clarified that the alleged bully in the video clip graduated from the college in 2016 and the college has had no engagement with him since then. “The people involved in the incident had a private altercation in Paro over a month ago, following which the alleged bully had called the victim off-campus when this unfortunate incident happened.”
It states that the victim and the bully were never at RTC together being separated by over a year’s gap. “The college rejects any assertion that it would allow any bullying to happen within its realm of control,” the press release states. “The college takes any violent acts or bullying seriously and any current students involved in such incidents would face disciplinary action, including expulsion.”
With posts on social media referring to the incident as RTC bullying, the college requests the public to not engage in untrue defamatory remarks that not only jeopardises the image of the college unfairly but also that of the large RTC community with over 3,000 students and 500 staff. “There has unfortunately been defamation by some on social media against RTC, and the college will respond as necessary on that as well,” the press release states. “Such defamation has real consequences, and the kind of harsh and unjustified responses the college has received on social media to this incident are unconstructive and are themselves an unfortunate cultural norm our society should seek to avoid.”