Man gets life sentence for setting ex-wife alight

A 27-year-old single mother succumbed to injuries she sustained after her ex-husband set her alight.

After battling second degree burns to half her body for more than a month Kencho Wangmo died on October 23 last year at the national referral hospital.

She left behind a three-year old daughter, who lives with her sister.

The Thimphu dzongkhag court last week slapped the man, her husband, from Paro to life in prison and a compensation of Nu 492,875 to her sister.

It was a calm afternoon at the Centenary Park, Thimphu – children playing in the park, taxi drivers going about their usual business. Then, someone was on fire. Those nearby rushed to douse the fire and helped her move to the hospital in a taxi.

The convict initially denied the charges. He claimed in court that the deceased set herself on fire. He stated that her body caught fire when she tried to light a beedi and fell to the ground.

He stated that the victim was carrying a black plastic bag in her hand at the time of meeting, in which she was carrying petrol and threatened him of burning herself and reporting false information to police.

The court on further examination found otherwise.

The convict was living with the daughter in Paro after the wife estranged and left to work in a drayang and live in Thimphu. He had been coaxing her to return.

On September 22, he took a taxi from Paro. The couple had agreed to meet at the Centenary Park on the pretext of meeting with the daughter.

The taxi driver saw him buy petrol in a jerry can from the fuel depot at Shaba, Paro. Two witnesses at the spot saw him set her alight, and the deceased told police that her ex-husband set her on fire after she refused to return to Paro with him.

Although the crime had a liable sentence between 15-years to life, the Office of the Attorney General pleaded the court to send him for life given the gravity of the crime that was committed intentionally.

He has 10 days to appeal against the judgment to the High Court.

Tshering Palden

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