Husband pleads authorities to release his wife

Crime: With his wife detained since September 17 for alleged attempt to manslaughter, a 28-year-old man has come to Thimphu district court on November 9 to request court officials to release his wife.

The man, who works as a garbage collector for a private firm, said life has become difficult for him after his wife was held in custody. “I have to work and also look after the two children, aged 3 and 11-months-old.”

The man from Tsirang said he lived in Thimphu for the last four years doing all mean temporary jobs and he got work  as a garbage collector only in August. “I thought I would lead a better life as I got a work but it took a different turn within a month.”

He said he and his wife had argument that day and to let things calm down, he went out. ‘But my wife called, asking when I am returning and threatened that if I don’t turn up at the earliest, she would murder the children and take her own life.”

But when he got home, police have already arrived in their makeshift hut and taken statements from the accused and neighbors. “The neighbors have complained that my wife was attempting to murder the elder daughter,” he said.

Since then, he claimed he has been running to all authorities, from offices to individuals, requesting for his wife’s release. “Everyone beats their children and my wife did it under the influence of alcohol,” he said. “She assured that she would not do such things again.”

He said he pleaded to police officials but they told him they are helpless and they just enforce law. “I have requested the lawyer from the Office of Attorney General, who prosecutes the case but she said my wife will be imprisoned for five to nine years,” he said. “I can’t imagine how I will raise the two children without their mother.”

Carrying his 11-month-old daughter and holding the hands of his three-year-old daughter, the man said no one understands how difficult life is for him. “I have to work from 8am and I leave my children at my sister’s place,” he said.

Court officials said they would conduct a hearing on November 14 to examine the possibility of sending the woman on bail.

However, sources said bail could only be granted if there is guarantee that the woman does not commit the crime again and she is not a threat to the child. “Court could grant bail if relevant authorities like Respect, Educate, Nurture, and Empower Women (RENEW) and National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) could intervene and monitor how the woman treats her children,” a source said.

RENEW’s head for counselling department, Karma Choden, said RENEW assessed the case but found it risky for the woman to be with the children. “At a personal level, we requested a daycare centre in the locality to enrol the elder child,” she said.

She said they requested the father to bring his mother from the village to look after the children.

Tashi Dema