Leader Rai released after 17-years jailbird life

Published on Nov 07 2008 // Main News

Birtamode, November 8: Bhutan police authority has released Dhan Kumar Rai, the founder general secretary of Bhutan People's Party (BPP), who was kept in Chemgang jail since 1991 accusing him of involving in political campaigns.

The authority released Rai on November 1 following pressure from International Red Cross Society (ICRC) on the medical ground. Rai, a severe heart patient, is also suffering from psychiatric problem due to cruel tortures inside jails.

Rai, who re-joined his family in Khudunabari camp on November 5, told Bhutan News Service (BNS) that he had never thought of getting released. "I was astonished but my happiness reached no bound when I knew about my release from the jail", said Rai, who expressed gratitude to the ICRC for exerting pressure to the government of Bhutan.

Rai also informed the BNS over telephone that he spent two days with his relatives in Thimphu after the release. He also informed that four other Nepali-ethnic political prisoners including one from Beldangi camp in Jhapa were also released on the same day.   
When asked about his future plan, Rai said his first priority would be to undergo sound medical check-ups for his deteriorating health condition. "I have not yet made any future plans such as involving in political activities", added Rai.

Responding to a query of the BNS, Suman, his brother, said happiness have at once emerged within their family members following the release of Dhan Kumar. "We are happy to meet with him, who is also a committed and visionary leader of the nation", said Suman.

BPP, one of the political parties in exile and where Rai is said to have been considered as one of the founding members, has not yet reacted to his release.    

At least few hundreds of political prisoners are still kept inside Bhutanese jails and their latest condition is never made public. Bhutan News Service/Thakur P. Mishra