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Choeten vandalised, suspects at large

Chencho Dema  | Punakha 

A private Namgay Khangzang choeten in Darjothang village, Toewang gewog in Punakha was vandalised. However, it is not known when and who vandalised it. 

On May 9 at around 7am, a 54-year-old man, a resident of Darjothang village saw the choeten was vandalised. He saw it when he was pitching a tent in the area. He informed the village Tshogpa who reported the case to the police. 

The police investigation team along with the dzongkhag cultural officer rushed to the crime scene which is about 30 kilometers from Punakha police station.

Two holes, one on the higher and one on the lower, were dug in the choeten. The choeten was 5’2’’ long, 3’3’’ wide, and 7’ feet tall and was taken care by two families. They have been performing annual rituals in front of the choeten on a rotational basis.

The residents don’t know who built it or what kind of zung or relics were inside. 

The investigating team combed the area, but was unable to find any artefacts or clues.

The residents also confirmed that no outsiders were seen around the choeten or in the village before the incident. 

The residents also stated that they have no suspicion on anyone in the community. 

Meanwhile, the police are investigating the case.

A total of 38 choetens have been vandalised from 2012 to 2023 in Punakha.