According to official sources, a plot to assassinate the teenage Bhutanese king Jigme Singye Wangchuk was foiled recently.
Thirty people, including Deputy Home Minister Phuntsho Dhondup, Tibetan Refugee Rehabilitation Officer Kungo Lhedhing, Royal Bhutan Police Commander Dada, prominent citizen Tamshing Wangdi, commonly known as “Tortola”, were arrested in this context.
A large amount of weapons and ammunition, including hand grenades, and poison were seized from those arrested whose plans also included the burning of the Tashichho Dzong, widespread espionage and panic and confusion in the country.
Investigations by local and Indian experts revealed that the plot was the brainchild of Gyalo Thendhup, a well-known Tibetan resident of Darjeeling. “Tortola” confessed that the plot broke out in Darjeeling in 1973 and was offered ₹one lakh to burn down the Dzong.
Some time after the death of former king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in July 1972, Lobsang Yeshey, an aide to Gyalo Thendhup, made a secret deal to get rid of the king with a Kanaibhu, father of a Yangki Tibetan woman who once enjoyed of considerable influence and privilege in Bhutan.
Gyalo Thendhup reportedly hoped to bring Yangki’s son to power. Investigators found a letter to Kungo. Residence of Lhedings revealing the whole plot.
After the arrests, Yaneki and his father fled to India and the National Assembly requested the extradition of Gyalo Thendhup along with Yangki and his relatives for questioning.
The sources said that the king maintains that the majority of Tibetan refugees in Bhutan, 4,000 of whom were admitted long ago, were unaware of these agreements and were innocent and were loyal and sincere to have adopted the country, as they received all assistance, including tax exemption.