Phuentsholing police arrested three Bhutanese men and three non-Bhutanese men for the alleged murder of a 26-year-old man from Ketokha in Bongo, Chukha.

The alleged incident occurred on the night of April 24 in a forest in Hashimara.

Police sources said foresters in Hashimara found the decomposed body and informed the Jaigaon police on May 6.

Police said that the deceased’s sister-in-law identified the body from the clothes and the wristwatch. “The skull of the deceased showed multiple lacerations and cut wounds. The summer jacket the deceased wore also showed multiple stabbing marks.”

An investigation report shared by police alleged that it was planned murder because of financial matter.

Police said that the deceased’s father had lodged a missing complaint on April 27 that his son went missing on April 24 along with his Bolero.

“The police then initiated an operation to find the missing person in collaboration with the counterpart in Jaigaon,” the report stated.

Police alleged that a 28-year-old man from Getana in Chukha planned the murder after the deceased refused to repay the Nu 10,000 he borrowed. “The man from Getana claimed that when he asked for the money, the deceased threatened him,” the report stated.

It was alleged that the deceased borrowed the money in February this year to buy controlled substance to be sold in Thimphu.

The police report stated that in April, the moneylender met with a 19-year-old school dropout from Sarpang, who introduced three men from across the border. “They planned the murder then.”

It was alleged that the moneylender promised to pay money to the three non-Bhutanese men after selling the deceased’s Bolero.

After the murder plot, the moneylender went to his home in Getana and the 19-year-old man from Sarpang and the three accomplices from India lured the deceased to go with them to Kalchini, India, to get rice.

The police report alleged that the four men stopped to smoke marijuana in Madhu forest in India where they attacked the deceased.

Police said that the third Bhutanese man, who is from Gelephu, was not directly involved in the murder but he helped the accused with money while the accused men were on run. “He also did not inform the police.”

The two Bhutanese men were arrested at Gaiguri, Phuentsholing, while they were travelling to Thimphu and the main accused was arrested from Getana.

Of the three non-Bhutanese involved, one was arrested in a hotel in Phuentsholing, while one was caught from across the border. Another was arrested in Gelephu. Although one non-Bhutanese man was also not involved in the murder directly, he was involved in luring the deceased to go to India to get rice.

Police said they would forward the case to Office of the Attorney General soon.

The six men will be charged for murder, accomplice liability, solicitation, aiding and abetting, possession of stolen property, larceny, failure to report a crime, and illegal possession of cannabis and its derivatives.

Meanwhile, the Bolero is still missing.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing