Monday, October 26, 2015

Government’s effort in thrashing out border insecurities and predicament
Tanden Zangmo/Thimphu
In view of the spate of abduction, the people of Gelephug have been living with constant fear over the last two years and in addition to it , the recent death of a Indian national in Samtse have brought even greater danger from across the border .
According to Dremetsi-Ngatsang representative Ugyen Wangdi these incidents have infused sense of insecurity all over the south and have shown how venerable the entire country is to the eternal threat.
Hence he asked the the Home and Cultural Affair Minister Damcho Dorji if the government is taking these threats seriously and what is being done to prevent such similar problem in future.
Respodning to the question, Lyonpo Damcho Dorji said that in ensuring saftey of those people living near the border areas the government conduct secretary level coordination meeting regarding Bhutan-India Meeting on Border Management and Security (BIM-BMS).
Institutionalized by Royal Governemnet of Bhutan (RgoB)  and Governement Of India GOI in 2004, as of now nine rounds of BIM-BMS was conducted and last round was held in New Delhi in June this year.
Further Lyonpo shared that Bhutan also carry out  Border Districts Coordination Meeting ( DCM) with West Bengal and as of now 20 rounds of DCM has happened. And further  Border Districts Coordination meeting ( DCM) is also conducted  with Assam and as of now nine  rounds of BDCM have been held.

Accoring to Lyonpo District Level Coordination Meetings is also being conducted in quarterly basis within the level of the Dzongdag and District Magistrate and  also coordination with  Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) is conducted between Dzongkhag/Dungkhag and SSB counterparts.
Meanwhile Lyonpo also shared on the kidnappings cases happened from 22 October 2012. And as per the reported cases to the Home Minister, a total of 12 Bhutanese citizens were kidnapped from and outside Bhutanese prefecture.

First case of kidnapping of a taxi driver called Benulal Sunar from Tinbandi Khola was reported on 22 October 2012 and since then seven Bhutanese was kidnapped from Bhutan and five Bhutanese from Indian Territory.
The number of kidnapping has been increasing each year and as per the Home ministry’s record, in 2012 two men was reported to have kidnapped, four in 2013 and six kidnapping cases was reported this year.
However Lyonpo said that except for two drivers kidnapped on 5 September this year, rest are all released and as of now the families of those hostages has paid a total of Nu.4.060 million for their release.
Lyonpo said that the governement is still claiming for driver Thinley Wangchuk who is still missing and the families has received last ransom call on 18 Sep 2014.
Therefore, with growing cases of kidnapping and border issues, Lyonpo said that  from Royal Bhutan Police side Intensified day and night armed patrolling along Sarpang-Gelephu is being carried out.
Further lyonpo said that police carry out random mobile checkposts and picketing,night ambush at vulnerable points, survey of likely kidnap targets and armed ambush, restrictions on vehicle movements between 9pm to 5 am and frisking and search of Suspicious border entrants.
In addition constant coordination and meetings with counterparts is conducted along with continuous awareness campaign and Bhutanese vehicles traveling out of Gelephu convoys at 8, 11 and 14 hrs.
Lyonpo said that the government has issued official Bhutanese SIMs to SSB focal officers to carry out intensive patrolling along the border.

Coming to the security Measures by the Bureau of Law and Order, Lyonpo said that BLO have been continuously applying pressure on counterparts in Delhi, Assam and West Bengal and the RGoB has called for 10th BDCM with Assam from 19-21 Dec this year and with West Bengal in January, 2015.

Dzongkhag, Dungkhag and RBP have been carrying out sensitizing meetings and Nodal Officer, IB, New Delhi GOI informed and assistance requested through hotline.
“GOI will restart escorting of Bhutanese vehicles on Indian highway” Lyonpo said.

Regarding the death of an Indian woman, Sumitra Loha, 17 yr old maid from Chamurchi, Lyonpo shared that base on the Investigation of Police and Health has ruled out that the cause of death as overdose of dendrite.
Lyonpo said that the girl was found kneeling over her pillow with 500 ml dendrite bottle and believe to have died due to suffocation.
 Lyonpo said that the Parents were called and body was handed over after they were confirmed of no foul play and Nu. 10,000 were given on humanitarian ground to the deceased family.
On 23 November, parents along with mob alleged that the girl had been raped and murdered in Samtse where Mob blocked Chamurchi-Samtse highway and started attacking Bhutanese vehicles.
About 10 Bhutanese vehicles were destroyed and two were set on fire by the mob on that day.
Immediately after the mob agitation was started lyonpo said that border checkpoint was ask to closed down and MoHCA immediately contacted the Commissioner of North Bengal for intervention. “Accordingly the commissioner immediately mobilized local authorities to control” Lyonpo said.
Lyonpo said that the Samtse Dzongkhag has written to the District Magistrate for compensation for Bhutanese vehicles damaged and MoHCA, Samtse Dzongkhag and RBP are in constant contact with JP authorities to monitor situation in Chamurchi.

Lyonpo said that the government sympathies with the bereaved parents of Sumitra Loha and was regrettable that such incidents took place when it was a case of clear overdose of dendrite.

However, Lyonpo said that the government is awaiting the results of postmortem and
in the wake of this unfortunate incident; the government is reviewing the policy of baby sitters from across border.

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