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Abducted boy admitted in Siliguri hospital

Sarpang Kidnap: The 18-year-old boy, who was abducted at gunpoint in broad daylight from Sarpang town on January 4 by some miscreants from across the border, is reported to be recovering in a hospital in Siliguri, India.

The kidnappers released Kiran Kumar Chhetri on January 13 for a ransom of Rs 500,000.

The boy was then taken directly to a hospital in Siliguri. “We were told that he’d suffered a deep cut on the head,” the boy’s guardian, Navin Kumar Shambu, who is raising and schooling the boy, said.

The boy’s aunt, Mamta Chhetri, said the kidnappers contacted her on the night of January 4 from an Indian number and demanded Nu 20M, but when she said she did not have that kind of money, they hung up.

Four days later, the kidnappers demanded Nu 3M, then reduced it to 2M, and when the family said they could not pay the amount demanded, they made the boy talk to them and even assaulted him. “It was so painful to hear him in pain,” Mamta Chetri said. “But we didn’t have the money.”

The family then decided to sell their tipper truck to pay the ransom.  On January 12, the kidnappers called, asking them to take the boy as he was sick, and demanded the ransom. “They warned us not to tell police, Seema Shastra Bal, or the army,” Navin Kumar Shambu said.

He sent his brother with the money.

The family said they had to sell their tipper truck in India, although it could have fetched a better price in Bhutan, as the road safety and transport authority estimated the truck’s value as Nu 750,000. “We needed Indian currency,” a family member said.

The relatives, however, suspect local people to be involved.

The boy’s uncle and aunt, who recorded the initial conversations with the kidnappers and gave it to the police, said the kidnappers knew about it.

The incident had immensely affected the family. “We get scared even when the dog barks, and whenever a new person enters our hotel,” Mamta Chetri said.

Two to three armed constables patrol the town everyday.

By Tashi Dema in Gelephu

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  1. Is our government not aware that all the southern districts are parts of Bhutan and the people there are Bhutanese, too? Who will defend the borders and protect the people in that region if our government will not do?
    Ever since the emergence of national doctrine from 1985 (as if we did not exist as a nation before) expressing its lost state to date, southern Bhutan looks like a recently conquered land waiting to be inhabited by the citizens and often exposes deserted look in news media! Are the people alien that should fall prey to the schemers and looters from every quarters?
    The recent development of kidnappings and poor actions to right the wrongs to stop such threats in future give deserted look to the region in the state of emergency for lack of security. Do not cause the people to seek/take help of SSB for their security. What if SSB shifts their camps deep inside Bhutanese territory in the name of protecting the people that need security?

  2. i stay in southern part of bhutan and we are not secure here. Southern part of Bhutan is no more a safe haven to stay as there is a rampant abduction cases and the DPT government (Home minister in particular)has failed to perform his duty or they are ignorant about the security of the can be brought into normal situation by deploying the armies of Lungtenphug, wangdue phodrang and shaba. …atleast for few months in the southern parts. As Abyz commented, lyonpo Minjur is busy with his personal affairs at least a DPT cabinet shall respond and handle the situation when Home minister is in Mongar….DPT, give us what you have promised. 2013 is already here before we bend our heads…ashamed of our mistake voting for you in 2008….

  3. I feel there is serious security lapses in Sarpang Dzongkhag. Lots of non-nationals specially Indians are loitering around even in Gelephu town and the gelephu river is full of Indian cars and buses who have come there for a picnic. As far as I know in other places like Samtse, Lhamoizingkha, S/Jongkhar such entry for picnic is not allowed. Kidnapping incident is not once, why can’t government take this seriously.

  4. It is not to blame the minister nor the security or the family. What is bygone is gone. NOW it is the duty of the concern authority to track the culprits and provide justice to the family of the abducted boy. AND henceforth there should be tight security in the southern boarders. NOT three security patrolling the town as mentioned above. There must be stretch of security from end of Samtse dzongkhag till other end of Samdrup Jongkhar.

  5. Home ministry to look into such cases seriously.

  6. It is ridiculous and shameful to the arm forces and commanders for not being able to tighten up the security in those affected areas even after the second ransom. Now the third ransom is already paid, and are we still waiting for another such incidence? Please wake up whoever is responsible to command our armies and polices.

  7. Some fishy is going in this case and kidnappers are taking advantages of light security in southern Bhutan. but, we can easily trace and catch those kidnappers if the Bhutan police and Assam police joined hand to find out the location, use latest method to catch culprit.
    but government fail to take initiative and victim families were losing huge amount to kidnappers.
    needed more security and boarder patrolling frequently and proper plan to catch them.
    one day or other, these people will be in the hand of Bhutanese people and face same music.

  8. It is a sign that something is failing seriously – is it security forces or the authorities? Either security forces are not doing their duty or authorities are not taking the abduction cases seriously.

    Security of the state is the most important role of any government. If this fundamental role of the government fails, then something is not working somwehere. Is it really beacuse Minister of Home is busy with the court case?

    Even if there are no politicians to manage the state of affairs, the bureaucracy is supposed to provide continuity in the service. What are top level bureaucrats doing in the absence of the political minister?

    This is a sign that both the political and bucreaucracy machinery is not working well because bureaucrats are expected to take the role of the political minister when there is problem in the elected government. This happens every where.

    From rupee crisis to series of abduction crisis. Unexpected things are being escalated every day. This is sign that something is not working.

    Is it a sign that resident in the border area are left to defend themselves at the mercy of the kidnappers who are well equipped.

    Where are the MPs of the south? Should you not go and assess the situation and report to the government? Should you not go and console the people at this hour. I know you all will go to get your votes at the end and time is coming.

  9. Complete shame on home minister minjur dorji. May be this days he is busy in mongar court. So, hw can we expect the situation to improve when our right head is busy with their personal issues. It relly seems like he has completely failed as the minister. Lets see in 2013 election….

  10. It is heartening to know that the abducted boy is finally released. However, it is a deeply troubling to see the recent trend of abductions for ransom along our southern border. While anyone would want their abducted loved ones back, even if it means by paying a hefty ransom, is it the right thing to do? Are we unwittingly encouraging further abductions?Are we prepared to go on like this? I think we need do a serious soul searching on this as a nation, because after the first ransom we have already paid two more ransomes in fairly quick succession.

  11. It is a shame that the authorities could not do anything in the series of abduction cases and day light robbery in the borders of the country.

    The abductors are taking full advantages of the weaknesses in our system. I do not know who will be next unlucky one. It could be anybody.

    I was told that police were just watching the scene that day and could not do anything. Why? It is also of no use to keep the army posts when they are not alert and effective.

    In spite of assurances from the deputy chief of Bodoland and security forces at the border, things are happening in the open day light. It is a shame for the security forces who are supposed to defend the country. Looks like you are running aay when you see danger coming around you.

    It is the rule of the jungle and it is might is right which existed before the emergence of the state. Do we allow such thing to happen now in the 21st century.

    I feel really disturbed as to what shape such events are going to take in the immediate future.

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