OAG charges suspects in fatal gang fight stabbing

The Office of Attorney General charged Tenzin Dorji, 24, for voluntary manslaughter, and three others for their involvement in a gang fight to the Thimphu dzongkhag court on March 17.

Following the gang fight near the Clock Tower Square in Thimphu on January 28, Maniraj Subba, 22, from Karmaling gewog, Dagana succumbed to a head injury at the national referral hospital the next day.

The deceased, a freelance assistant cook was allegedly stabbed in the head by Tenzin Dorji who is a class XI student from Bumthang. The deceased was rushed to the national referral hospital by his friends.  The hospital informed the police about the incident at 8.15pm.

The dagger had penetrated the victim’s skull and left an 11cm cut. There were also numerous cuts on the left thigh of the deceased. Police arrested the suspect on January 29.

According statements given to the police, the deceased’s younger brother, Bagiraj Subba had some issues with Sangay Namgyal, a friend of the suspect. Bagiraj along with a cousin went to settle the conflict with him. When confronted, Sangay Namgay who was with a friend shouted abuse at the two, following which the cousin and his friend Dechen Sangay physically assaulted him.

The incident escalated and more people got involved as Sangay Namgay’s friends including the suspect, Tenzin Dorji heard about the physical confrontation.

They gathered together and went around looking for the duo, who belonged to a gang calling itself the ADA Boys group. They found the cousin with the deceased and two other friends. The groups clashed near the Cloud Nine Karaoke and began throwing stones at each other.

In the melee, Tenzin Dorji hit the deceased. The suspect in his statement to police said that it was an act of self defence. According to the suspect, the deceased tried to hit him when he reached the scene and that he stabbed the deceased in retaliation.

The OAG charged Tenzin Dorji under the Penal Code section 140 on voluntary manslaughter and is liable for a second degree felony conviction for which the imprisonment term ranges from nine to 15 years.

Sangay Namgyal, 16, is charged for aiding and abetting the crime, which is classified as a fourth degree crime, and is liable for prison term ranging from three to five years.

The cousin of the deceased, Bikash Subba, 20, and his friend, Dechen Sangay, 16, are charged for getting involved in the fight and are liable for prison terms ranging between one month and a year.

Except for Bikash Subba,  the three are students.

Tshering Palden

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