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