Lhuentse dzongkhag court, after altering the charge of illegal possession of explosives to environment pollution, sentenced a 52-year-old man from Rodpa in Gangzur, Lhuentse, to one year, 10 months and 15 days in prison.

The Office of Attorney General’s (OAG) attorney charged the man, Tandin Wangchuk, for illegal possession of explosives after forest officials in the dzongkhag caught him and three other friends on November 1 last year at Thimyul when they blasted the explosives in Kurichu to catch fish.

The crime, according to OAG is a fourth-degree felony.

It was found that Tandin Wangchuk brought the explosives from a bridge construction site at Doksum, which is on the way to Singye dzong.

The judgment, which was passed earlier this month, stated that Tandin Wangchuk accepted that he took the explosives to catch fish but submitted before the court to reduce his charge and make it compoundable, citing ignorance of law. “He also claimed that he committed the crime for the first time,” the judgment states.

It stated that since Tandin Wangchuk stayed seven nights in custody, he could pay thrimthue of Nu 83,500 in lieu of the remaining prison term.

The court also sentenced three men, Sonam Tshering, 29, from Tergang in Kurtoe, Kuenzang Wangchuk, 29, from Rodpa, and Lhendup Chophel, 48, also from Rodpa, to 11 months and seven nights in prison for aiding and abetting to environment pollution.

The three men, who also served seven nights each in custody, can pay Nu 41,312 each in lieu of the prison term.

Tashi Phuntsho