But some maintain their claims that a bar and smoking zone were in place for a karaoke party on campus

Following an investigation, the education ministry says that the party held on the Tendu Central School (TCS) campus in Samtse did not involve cigarettes and alcohol despite the claims of some who attended the event.

The ministry’s investigation says that the allegation, made by an anonymous user Bhu Drukpa on Facebook, that a party was held on campus that involved a smoking zone and a bar is not true.

The post went viral prompting the investigation.

The annual Tendu tshechu, organised from March 5-7, was held on the school campus given unavailability of space elsewhere. A “Karaoke Night” party beginning from 9pm, was organised in the school’s multi-purpose hall on the nights of March 5, 6 and 7.

In its report, the investigation team states that there was neither a bar nor a smoking zone as alleged by the anonymous user Bhu Drukpa on Facebook. The user questioned the ethics and integrity of the school’s faculty for organising such a party on the school’s campus. The user also posted an image of a sign designating a “smoking zone”.

However, the investigation report states that all those interrogated, including students, said that no such zones were demarcated. Instead many of those questioned, accused the anonymous user of having staged the photographs in a bid to defame the tshechu committee and the school.

However, Kuensel has received photographs of signs hanging from a net on the ceiling of the hall displaying a “bar”, besides “snack” and “juice”. One photograph also shows a whisky bottle box being held on the stage of the hall.

The report also states that student representatives or captains did not report any incidents or disturbances on those two nights. Students had their regular evening study in their respective hostels. “Some of them were not even aware that there was such a gathering,” the report says.

The karaoke party was organised in the multi purpose hall and was exclusively for army officers, local leaders, faculty members and their family members to get together and interact. It was also intended to allow officials who had been involved in organising various events to relax.

The report states that the party was conducted under the strict monitoring of the army and police as part of the tshechu programme.

However, a few Tendu residents earlier claimed to Kuensel that alcohol was distributed as prizes on the first night of the karaoke party, and that smoking could also be observed.

But the investigation team said that only light refreshments were available during the party.

The investigation team also found that no physical altercation had occurred on the school’s campus as alleged by the anonymous user.

In an earlier interview, the dzongkhag tshogdu chairperson, Nima Dukpa, told Kuensel that a few school dropouts under the influence of alcohol had to be ushered away from the school’s campus. Once outside the gate, one of the youths threw a stone and another a bottle, the latter which reportedly hit the school’s warden on the head resulting in some swelling.

These youths were taken into police custody and released after questioning.

Meanwhile, the report also points out that only games like fishing bottle, darts, and the spinning wheel were permitted and that no gambling activities like dice and cards were allowed in the stalls.

Tempa Wangdi and Rajesh Rai