There are questions, from the public, after the body of a woman was recovered from a septic tank at Changangkha, Thimphu last week. From the feedback, it seems a lot of people were shaken by the brutality of the crime and how it was concealed for years.
What is surprising is there seems to be an information blackout on the case. Police, thromde officials and those who are aware of the alleged murder are either not talking to media or have instructed those with information to not talk to media. Everybody (those with information) is obedient which is not helping anyone.
Our interest in the story is not to sensationalise it. It is a news story and in Bhutan, crime stories sell. However, our interest is not to publicise the story to get the attention of readers, but the moral responsibility. From a media point of view, covering up the alleged crime is a crime in itself. We cover, not cover up, crime. If what is known so far is true, it is a heinous crime- a scene straight from a movie or an episode from the popular TV serials bombarding Bhutanese homes.
Hiding information will not help anyone. It will only fuel speculation. And it has with many questioning why it has remained so silent even with the parents of the deceased complaining to police. Had it not been for the thromde service people who found the remains of the decomposed body, the case would have been dead with the woman – a mother of three. There will be no justice for her parents, children and those who knew about it would have lost faith and trust in our authorities.
Police have arrested the husband for investigation. We will see, hopefully, what comes out of the investigation. Again, our interest is not in punishing the husband convicted or acquitted. We are after transparency which has long been pronounced as a national priority. As a society, we could learn so many lessons from the incident. There are issues of domestic violence, poverty and above all, justice. Closing the door to information will not help anyone and sweeping it under the carpet is impossible.
There are many questions starting from why the employers didn’t take it up and follow it up with the police to how can a mother go missing suddenly without any trace. It even brings home the more painful fact that we see gruesome crimes whether it is rape of minor or murder every now and then and not see justice.
Even as we report another crime, many are still wondering who killed the eight-year girl in Paro three years ago or the nine- year old girl who was found dead by a stream below Dechenphug, Thimphu. If we are not reminded, even gruesome crimes like murders would be buried with the passage of time. There is public interest in what is being done because it matters to all. There is no way we can hide it.