Two Nganglam residents have filed a case in the drungkhag court against the police’s officer in command (OC) of Nganglam, accusing him of misusing his power and battering them.

One of the complainants, Jampel Dorji, claimed that the alleged incident occurred at 1am on November 13 when he and two friends, while returning from a fair, found another resident, Lhendup, sleeping near the road under the influence of alcohol.

He said that fearing the man would die of cold, they tried to take him to a safe place in the locality.

Jampel Dorji claimed that when they were carrying the man, the OC and his wife came out of a restaurant and asked them what they were doing. “When we told him we were trying to help a man, he told us to let the man die.”

He alleged that the OC, who was also under the influence of alcohol, was trying to take Lhendup’s picture on his mobile. “When I asked him what he was trying to do, the OC’s wife intervened. When I told her not to interfere, the OC called the police constables and arrested us.”

Jampel Dorji alleged that the OC then battered Lhendup and him with a belt and cane in the police station. “My friends and others were just watching from outside.”

He said that the OC sent him home after his brother came to the police station. They were asked to report at the police at 9am. “When we went in the morning, the OC told my brother that he beat us to correct our behaviour.”

He also alleged that the OC threatened that they would be arrested if the issue comes up on social media and if it is reported anywhere. “I don’t understand if a law enforcer could do this.”

Lhendup, in his application to the court, said that the OC battered him for no reason and also did not send him home when his wife came. “The OC should prove which law I violated to be battered and mistreated that way.”

Police media focal person, Colonel Dorji Wangchuk said he would not comment on the matter and that Kuensel should talk to Samdrupjonkhar SP. Both the OC and Samdrupjongkhar SP were not available for comments.

Nganglam drungkhag court officials say that while the complainants have filed the case, they have not yet decided to register it, since the case is criminal in nature.

Court officials explained that individuals couldn’t file criminal cases, since it is a crime against the state and state prosecutors like police, Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) could prosecute it.

A court official explained that because the case is against a police officer, the complainants should either approach the superintendent of police (SP) in Samdrupjongkhar, who will investigate and file the case against the OC as an ordinary citizen and not as police OC or the police headquarters should institute a team to investigate and file the case. “If the complainants are not happy with that, then they should appeal to higher authority.”

Yeshey Dema and  Tashi Dema