Chhimi Dema  

Paro police detained an engineer and a woman on June 28 for alleged negligent homicide and criminal nuisance which led to a policeman’s death.

The man succumbed to head injuries following a vehicle accident while returning home from duty on the night of June 26. The accident occurred on the road between Drugyel and Paro town, near Nemjo, Luni gewog.

Police found that the policeman was wearing a helmet. However, it was broken from the impact when he fell on the road.

Police claim that the accident occurred when the man was dodging the soil debris left on the road. “The obstruction on the road could have caused the accident.”

The soil debris was from a trench dug to lay sewage pipes along the road.

A police investigation found that a resident of Nemjo under Luni gewog sought approval from the Department of Roads (DoR) to lay sewage pipes in front of her house.

The approval to lay pipes was given on April 20 after drawing conditions between the resident and the roads department.

The conditions stated that the applicant should inform the department during the work; dispose of excavated earth at a safe designated place; clear debris from the road daily; display cautionary signs at the location during the trenching period; and ensure safe flow of traffic on the existing road during the trenching period.

The police investigation found that the resident on June 26 informed DoR engineers but the engineers did not visit the work site for inspection.

It was found that the resident failed to dispose of the excavated earth at a safe designated place, clear the debris on the road after the work, and display cautionary signs at the work site.

The police have detained the engineer and resident for further investigation.

A police official said the resident could be charged with negligent homicide or criminal nuisance.

According to section 144 of the Penal Code of Bhutan, a person guilty of negligent homicide will face at least five years of imprisonment, and reckless endangerment will have the guilty locked up to a minimum of one year behind bars.

The Penal Code states that a person is guilty of a criminal nuisance if the person knowingly or recklessly creates or maintains a condition including spreading dangerous diseases that cause injury or endanger the safety or health of an individual or the public.

The offence is a misdemeanour or a felony of fourth-degree with imprisonment terms of three to five years.