Parents could be held for negligent homicide

Accident: The Royal Bhutan Police has now decided to declare zero tolerance to death of children due to fire accidents.

On September 9, two children were killed in a fire accident in Phuentsholing. Ten days later, on 19 October, three girls and a boy were referred to Thimphu hospital after they suffered 30-50 percent burn in a fire accident at the Jaigaon side of the Chinese Lane. They were left locked inside a room when fire occurred.

Many such cases have occurred in the past. Many will occur if measures are not taken to address the problem. The thing, however, is that such incidents are becoming common by the day. Working parents have no choice than to lock their children inside when they go to office. Accidents can and do happen.

Law enforcers will now see that such incidents do not occur in the future. Parents and caretakers will be charged according to the relevant sections of the Penal Code. According to section 144 of the Penal Code of Bhutan, person guilty of negligent homicide will face at least 5 years of imprisonment, and reckless endangerment will have the guilty  locked up to a minimum of 1 year behind bars.

It has been found that children die in fire mainly because of negligent attitude of parents and caretakers and poor fire safety practices in living spaces.

What is required as immediate measure is for the houses to have safety outlets and options put in place. Hazardous living conditions need to be explored and corrected wherever correction is necessary to guarantee minimum fire risk.

Lt Col Karma Tshering of the Fire Department said that the police and the relevant agencies will hereon create awareness in schools and high-risk places. “This is not to give trouble to people but to stop preventable tragedies.”

Jigme Wangchuk

4 replies
  1. sibidai
    sibidai says:

    Another nice case of RBP trying to shift accountability of their inapt ways of law upkeeps. If culprit can’t be caught – get the family. As long as there is someone to bear the brunt of brutality it hardly matters even if the person being punished is remotely connected to the crime. The job has to be tangibly done… that’s the motto.

    The truth is – no parent would want to deliberately even hurt their children – forget getting them killed unless they are ogre rogues ( or may be someone coveting highly exalted position and ranking).

    A deliberate or intended action cannot be deemed as accidents. That’s crime. But, any accident should always be treat as accident and that cannot be crime. But, somehow our law makers and keepers remain so archaically entrenched that a crime committed by one gets redeemed by punishing the parents, sibling or even relatives. Law has to be enforced anyway which can – even if it is not right.

    Wonder when our system will rise to modern global level of human civilisation and dignity???

  2. Kuzuzangpo
    Kuzuzangpo says:

    It has been in the past either incidence or coincidence. But let us prevent it to save precious life of our future not just imposing act but through many other means. Educate, advocate and make our people access to various facilities specially in urbans.

  3. nakhap
    nakhap says:

    I would
    Like to ask why is Police becoming increasingly intolerant? I m sure our lawmakers have adopted laws in such a way that parents look after their children well deepening on their economic status. It is important to first prevent the fire by making a safe home rather than send parents looking for children in the fire. After all i don’t think parents would want their child hurt in any case. By the anogy of zero tolerance, parents should be sent behind bars for not able to safe their own. children. I think police to adopt other phrases than just use the same slogan for all new cases that arises.

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