…Nu 50,000 bounty each for leading to their arrest 

Rinzin Wangchuk 

Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) have began a massive manhunt after a prisoner and a detainee escaped from Chamgang jail and Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) in Thimphu on October 15 and yesterday respectively.

In yesterday’s incident, 46-year-old Namgay Tshering, who was referred to JDWNRH, escaped through the window of a hospital toilet.  According to a source from the police, Namgay Tshering was detained recently and is being prosecuted before the Paro dzongkhag court for sedition and libel charges.

However, details were not available on how Namgay Tshering escaped from the hospital and about the charges against him.

On October 15, 40-year-old Nima Dorji Sherpa from Patsharling, Tsirang escaped while taking part in the reformative work centre, Chamgang Central Jail.

Kuensel learnt that an enquiry team from the headquarters in Thimphu was sent to Chamgang to investigate how Nima Dorji Sherpa escaped on the afternoon of October 15.

A police officer said that the convict was taken out of jail for a rehabilitation programme after his family member stood bond for surety as a guarantor that he will not escape and learn new skills by participating in the prison reformation programme.

The Prison Act of Bhutan 2009 allows prisoners to participate in reformatory works to ensure that they are reformed during their stay in prison, and acquire the necessary qualities and vocational skills to ensure normal life in society upon their release after serving the sentence.

Tsirang dzongkhag court sentenced Nima Dorji Sherpa to 16 years in prison for rape, unnatural sex, endangerment of a child, and statuary rape of an eight-year-old boy in Tsirang on November 3, 2021.

The court also ordered him to pay Nu 366,918 compensation to the child within six months from the day the judgment was rendered. Nima Dorji Sherpa raped the child in March 2021 when the child was returning home from school. The child confided the incident to his grandfather.

Meanwhile, the RBP has announced a reward of Nu 50,000 each will be given to anyone who can provide police with information leading to the re-arrest of both Nima Dorji Sherpa and Namgay Tshering. The identity of the informers shall be kept completely confidential, according to the police.

Police sources said that they will be charged for escape as and when they are caught.

The Penal Code of Bhutan states that the offence of escape from lawful custody is a misdemeanour in addition to the remaining sentences that the defendant was serving. The imprisonment term for a misdemeanour offence ranges from one to three years.

Chamgang central jail has more than 600 inmates today.