Dechen Dolkar 

Trashigang police are investigating a defamation case against Kanglung gup-elect Kinzang Dorji.

The case was filed by a resident of Yonphu, Karma Tenzin, 63, on December 29 of last year.

The resident had three complaints against the gup-elect.

Karma Tenzin alleged that the gup-elect threatened that he knows who voted for him and who did not in a WeChat group, and would see those who did not vote for him in the next five years.

He also claimed that the gup-elect has accused him of polluting the spring water above Yonphu Lhakhang, because of which he is homeless and was unable to send his children to school.

“The gup-elect has said I can take him wherever I want to and he is not bothered,” Karma Tenzin said. “The gup-elect is defaming and harassing people like me unnecessarily.”

According to the WeChat group conversation Kuensel acquired, the gup-elect claimed there are a few people in Kanglung gewog that did not support him and he knows who they are. “I also know who influenced people not to vote for me. I am observing them. People will inform me about them from every corner of the village.”

In the conversation, gup-elect Kinzang Dorji said that Karma Tenzin had claimed Yonphu lhakhang belongs to his ancestors. “He doesn’t know where I am from.”   

The gup-elect said that he has brought development in schools, lhakhangs, and roads in the gewog in the WeChat group.

Karma Tenzin said he wonders how the gup-elect knows who voted for him and who did not.

He claimed that the gup-elect has accused seven individuals including himself, Rinchen Peldon, Kinga, Tobgay, Dawa Peljor, Dorji Wangchuk and Shantong to have influenced people over whom to vote for and affected his votes.

Karma Tenzin questioned what the gup would do to them in five years. “Does it mean that he will kill us or deport us from the country?”

He said that gup Kinzang Dorji has secured 1,014 votes while the other three candidates from the gewog secured 844, 369 and 334 votes. “Is he threatening all the people who did not vote for him?”

Karma Tenzin also alleged that the gup has procured private land for the community near the lhakhang from the gewog development grant of Nu 2M without any approval from the dzongkhag.

He also claimed that the gup has collected Nu 800 from every household to pay for the land, as the land and a one-storied house cost Nu 3M. “The gewog collects taxes from shopkeepers during the bi-annual Yonphu tshechu, but the gup is not declaring any accounts.”

He claimed that the old gewog office is being used by the police for a monthly rent of Nu 13,000. “He has told people where the rent goes.”

However, gup-elect Kinzang Dorji said Karma Tenzin has been telling everyone that he should not win the election even before the poll day. “He has been accusing me of misusing funds during the past 10 years’ tenure.”

He said that the tshogpa collects all the taxes from the shopkeepers during the tshechu and the money is given to the masked dancers and dancers as their wages. “All the money is deposited in the current deposit account of the gewog and it is audited annually.”

He said he doesn’t have to show gewog accounts to people like Karma Tenzin.

The gup-elect also accused Karma Tenzin of threatening him and he threatened Karma Tenzin back in response.

Meanwhile, Trashigang police said the case is under investigation and they asked for a written statement from the gup.

It was learnt the gup submitted the statement yesterday afternoon.