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DPT coordinator accused of harassment

Phuentsholing police is investigating a case involving a Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) coordinator from Trashigang, who alleged that a businessman from Phuentsholing is the coordinator of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) in a social media forum (Wechat) and insinuated members of the chat group to batter him and burn his personal vehicle if seen around.

The alleged DNT coordinator, who stays in Phuentsholing, lodged a complaint with the police on July 24.

The DPT coordinator was apprehended on July 31 evening in Thimphu and brought to Phuentsholing on August 1.

In a voice recording Kuensel availed, the DPT coordinator informed the members of a chat group called ‘Bartsham-Songphu’ that a member with a username “black man,” who he alleged could also be a DNT supporter had invited the DNT coordinator.

In the recording, the DPT coordinator tells members to carefully see the DNT coordinator’s picture that he sent and warned he was an intrusive person.

“He is a DNT coordinator.  He lives in Phuentsholing and has a Hilux and owns a cement agency. If he comes in villages and talks nonsense, beat him up. If he brings his car, burn it,” the DPT coordinator has told the group.

In response to this, the DNT coordinator said he was invited to the group by mistake by a friend and that it was a surprise for him.

“But what did I say in the group? You said I am a goon. You should prove I am a goon,” the alleged DNT coordinator asks the DPT coordinator in the group chat. “Do you think I am a spy in this group?”

The Phuentsholing businessman also has asked the DPT coordinator in the group chat to start a separate conversation between them. He said that the DPT coordinator was the actual goon.

“Whether I am anybody’s coordinator or not, it is not your business,” he said to the DPT coordinator.

Meanwhile, DNT’s general secretary Tenzin Lekphel said it is clear that it was a case between two individuals.

“There is nothing to do with the party,” he said, adding that DNT has not seen the complaint and did not have any prior information about it.

“It is between two individuals and not between DNT and DPT and I think DPT should also leave it to that person.”

The general secretary also said that the person involved is not a DNT coordinator.

“He is not a registered official coordinator. How can he be a coordinator?” Tenzin Lekphel said, adding that a coordinator has to be in the dzongkhag or a constituency.

“He may be a supporter, which anyone can be.”

DPT general secretary, Sangay Phurba, said the party had no idea of it until recently.

“I knew about it only yesterday,” he said. “However, it is at the individual level and the party had no idea.”

Sangay Phurba also said that they did not know whether it was a personal WeChat group or a party ‘WeChat’ group. “Like all parties have their social media groups, DPT also has groups but such problems have not come up in those groups.”

Phuentsholing police said that they are investigating the case. “It is a case of harassment,” a police official said.

Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

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