Social Opinion

Did I wake up from the Wrong Side of My Bed? What did I do Wrong that I had to go through this False Allegation?

Today is 15th Day of April 2015. I might have gotten up from the wrong side of my bed. Before, I go to office I drop my daughter to her school, and after that my wife to her office. Usually I start my day at around 8.30AM. Today I started little early, my bad luck.

I was driving to my Daughter’s School. Before Little Dragon, there is another school Early Learning Centre. I know there are Traffic Police to control traffic. There was one at Early Learning Centre. I went pass through, and reached Little Dragon, I gave my parking signal as usual to drop my daughter. Traffic police at Little Dragon approached me and asked for my documents. I gave him my License, I thought it must be routine check or may be adhoc check. I was proud of them lately, they have been stopping cars and checking documents for over a week. I have been stopped four times and asked to produce my documents over a stretched of one week. Twice on the Road to Taba, and twice above nurse quarters. These check ups never bothered me, I was saying to myself that they are doing good job. I have respect for them.

He caught me by a surprise. He said “you are using mobile while driving, can you give me your other documents”. I was polite at first, and said, “I didn’t use mobile and I can’t give you the document.“ He said, “You have a black mobile?”, I showed him the mobile and said, “Yes” looking at my wife very shocked, to see her equally in disbelief. My wife knew, I didn’t use phone, she was surprised of the accusation. No idiot will use phone when you can just see traffic police around or you know there are police around that area.

Possessing black phone gave him another hope to believe that I actually used phone. I am sure over 95% of male in Bhutan will have black phone. Damn nobody wants to listen to my side of story, my genuine story. Argument got heated up. I had to react to the accusation, because I can’t admit to what I have not done. I could have admitted to their accusation and ended this conflict with payment of Nu.1000 fine, because that amount doesn’t bother me much. However, I am not taught to admit to false accusation, nor does our traditional values require me to. However, man who was quite far; who was standing on the other side of the road could identify colour of the phone? Even my hand could have appeared black inside the car. When I drive, I usually don’t put down window glass. It was same today, I squeezed my document to him through a inch opened window glass, when I was asked to produce it. I must commend his vision, he could see from distance and through un-opened widow, the use of phone, which I didn’t use. What a vision!!!

Traffic Police at Little Dragon told me to go to Traffic Office at Lungten Zampa. I met with another Traffic Police their, I narrated the story to him. I know him, he was a year senior to me, he was my schoolmate. He didn’t believe me, he was reconfirming their version of facts to me. He came out with a Register and I was ask to follow him up-stairs, I did as he said. Meanwhile, the Traffic Police at Little Dragon came there, and I was asked to come down and he escorted me to Officer’s Desk. I said to the Officer that my documents have been taken for alleged use of mobile while driving. He listened to me very diligently. I thought that he would understand me, or rather believe my story. He asked me, “Did you use phone?” I said, “No I didn’t.”  “Did call some one?” “No”, I said. “Did you answer call?” “No”, I replied. “Did you take out your phone to see time?” I said, “No. I have wrist-watch and I don’t have to.” I showed him my wristwatch. He didn’t like it I guess, but I didn’t like false accusation either. More than anything, I have digital clock in my car.

He said, I am very aggressive, should not have reacted aggressively to his police in the public, but what about embarrassing me in the public with that false accusation. Then he started to ask my occupation and office I work. I told him about it. He reacted to it, and said “You must have done something, otherwise police won’t accuse you for doing nothing.” I said, “I don’t know, but I didn’t use my mobile phone.” He said, “Now you are saying that we don’t have evidence, so we can’t do anything.” I said, “That is not the case, and I am genuinely saying that I didn’t use the phone.” He said, “We are contributing to society by doing our job more responsibly, but this is how you contribute. You know the law, now that we don’t have evidence you are trying to get away with it. I am sure you must be having relatives and friends, and you must be advising them on how to get away from such wrong doing using law.” That was one of the most disheartening part, I never had such kind of thought. My immediate understanding of it was that, he was trying to say that I am an irresponsible lawyer and trying to lie to him and get away with it using law. That was another grave accusation. Then I had to react, arguments got heated up. He said, “I am very aggressive, and your attitude says many things.” I said, ‘Situation made me aggressive, I can’t admit to what I have not done.” He said, “I am 99% sure my man is right.” I must tell, he was not right today, I know whether I used it or not more than anyone. I told him, “He was wrong.” I don’t know how I appeared; I am sure he didn’t like it, he started to say, “What are you going to do?” I said, “I am not going to do anything. But it is not right that I am being accused off something which I didn’t do. That is real harassment.” I replied. He said, “it is not we are harassing you, but it is you who is harassing us.” I wondered to myself, if false accusation is not harassment, what could it be? I am confused??

He talked about police having code of conduct, and ask me that I must be having lawyers’ code of conduct. We shared same opinion that everyone has code of conduct. However, he is intending to say that I am not following my code of conduct, and they are. He said, “the traffic police who reported about this incidence will have no ill-intention or grudges against you, there is no reason he would accuse for wrong which you have not done.” Ultimately, he was saying that I lied to him. I offered him to check my call logs, but he refused. He said, “It is not about whether you made call or received call, it is about whether you used mobile or not. And I can’t stoop so low?” I wondered how is that really a lowly act.

He continued, “This is good lesson for us, I am going to put up this in our meetings. No Dasho Drangpon came to us and confronted us. There are few lawyers though, who are trying to get away. We need to correct it, and I thank you that you gave us this lesson. Our country is poor, we don’t have such equipment in our disposal. Now you are taking advantage of it, because we can’t prove it.” He was yet again saying that I lied to him, and I am trying to get away with it. I wished if he could understand me.  “He said, we are doing our job for the benefit of our people. Why do you see us as your enemy? I am sure you must be having family. We are doing it for the benefit of you and your family”, he said. “I don’t take police as my enemy, and I never did. I know about your responsibilities, your good intent. However, I could not accept this false accusation. I have family, my wife and daughter was there with me in the car, and my wife was equally caught by surprise with this false accusation”, I replied.

He told me, “You told my man that you are even willing go to Court, is it right? Are you threatening us?” “I am not trying to threaten anyone, I said that because I needed to prove my innocence”, I said. He said, “Today we lost and you won, next time if you are caught again, I will make sure that you are sent to court.” That was the real warning I could sense immediately. Why not now, and why next time? If they really think that I broke the law, they should have been confident enough to say, “if you say so, let us go to Court then”, instead they warned me of next time. That sounded like they are going to come after me, no matter how? They may not but, that fear is instilled in me, and I record this incident to show that their mind is already made, because he put down my details in his diary. This statement of mine is clear statement of my clear conscience. I still wish if this incident was in my dream.

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