Sarpang kidnaps : While bilateral talks were held between Bhutan and India to tighten security at the bordering towns, police have started constructing an outpost below Sarpang town.
The construction near the old Hindu Mandir, about 200 metres below Sarpang town, began last week and police have also reinforced their strength in Sarpang.
Five policemen, on rotation, patrol Sarpang town everyday.
But people living near the border that saw a spate of abductions still question how and why the incidences occurred.
“When such incidences occur time and again, it clearly shows that they know our weakness,” a 43-year old civil servant in Gelephu said. “It’s time government takes it seriously.”
In the first incident, where taxi driver Binulal Sunwar was pulled out of his Santro taxi on the evening of October 22 last year while plying the Sarpang-Gelephu highway, he claimed he saw another taxi driver with his abductors.
“I know him and saw him in Tsirang that afternoon. He was with the abductors and he didn’t report to police that I was being kidnapped,” Binulal Sunwar alleged. “I feel he should be questioned and his phone records tracked.”
Gelephu SP, lt. colonel Phub Dorji, however, said that the taxi driver who Binulal Sunwar saw with the kidnappers was also a kidnap victim. It could not be established why the kidnappers released him but he told police that he was released after he requested kidnappers that he had family.
Police claimed that it was the same people who kidnapped Tsip (astrologer) Dorji from his neighbor’s house on the night of November 16 and taxi driver Binulal Sunwar.
Several people have been apprehended in connection with the kidnapping including some locals but kidnap victim Binulal Sunwar said he was not aware of it.
Meanwhile, the relatives of Kiran Chetri, 18, who was kidnapped from Sarpang town last month alleged that police harassed him following media reports that police did not respond when they dialed 113. “We were told that when you dial 113 from Tashicell, it goes to Gelephu and not Sarpang,” a relative said.
Tashi Cell’s area manager in Gelephu, Sonam Rinchen, said no complaints were lodged about the 113 problem and they were not aware of such a problem in Sarpang. “Our network officials say such problems arise because of technical issue,” he said.
Sarpang and Gelephu residents say that police should write to Tashicell and seek an explanation for such problems, if it is true. “We are living in a small society and concerned agencies should communicate and solve the problem,” a businessman said. “113 is for emergency and it should serve its purpose.”
By Tashi Dema