Gov­ern­ment still in di­a­logue with its In­dian coun­ter­part for ab­duc­tion case

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

The very un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dences that have been tak­ing place since 2012 in the bor­der ar­eas, the kid­nap­ping cases are still go­ing on and it is the great con­cerned for the gov­ern­ment. The last kid­nap­ping hap­pened just three weeks ago to four vic­tims in Sarpang Dzongkhag.

The fam­ily of the four vic­tims re­ceived a last call on 26 Au­gust, de­mand­ing ran­som of Nu10 mil­lions.

Min­is­ter of Home and Cul­ture Af­fairs, Ly­onpo Dam­cho Dorji said dur­ing the meet-the-press ses­sion on last Thurs­day that, ini­tially the kid­nap­pers had de­manded Nu 20 mil­lion but they had now re­duced to Nu 10 mil­lion. But still their de­manded amount is much higher than what the fam­i­lies of the vic­tim could af­ford to pay.

The par­ents had agreed to pay Nu 800,000 but still there is big gap be­tween Nu10 mil­lion and Nu 800,000, said the Ly­onpo.

Ly­onpo said that “we hope that our peo­ple will be re­leased safe with­out any harm to their per­sonal life”, and hope that ul­ti­mately it will come to com­pro­mise that our peo­ple will be re­leased safely.

From the gov­ern­ment parts, it’s not that we have not done any­thing since the first kid­nap­ping cases in 2012; they are in con­stant pa­trolling along the bor­der ar­eas es­pe­cially in Gele­phu and Sarpang and have been con­stant di­a­logue with coun­ter­part with gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in New Delhi both at lo­cal, state and na­tional lev­els, and the Prime Min­is­ter and with the In­dian am­bas­sador, said the Ly­onpo.

So in the state level Ly­onpo said that, they have yearly sec­re­tary meet­ing be­tween the two coun­tries and also they have sev­eral rounds of meet­ing were done be­tween the chief of po­lice and the di­rec­tor gen­eral of SSB and be­tween the Dzongdags and his coun­ter­parts.

Although we have con­stant pa­trolling by the po­lice but it is very dif­fi­cult to mon­i­tor as this places are very dan­ger­ous stretch of for­est cover be­tween Sarpang and the neigh­bor­ing vil­lages of In­dian, said the Ly­onpo.

Ly­onpo fur­ther added that, “we are do­ing any­thing we can as far as pos­si­ble to en­sure that safe re­lease of our peo­ple, so it is not very easy. We urge the In­dian gov­ern­ment and the peo­ple who had kid­napped to re­lease our peo­ple as far as pos­si­ble and this is lots of con­cerns peo­ple who are liv­ing in the bor­ders ar­eas and more­over, this ca­su­alty will un­der­mine the close re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries and also the con­cerns dis­tricts and ad­join­ing dis­tricts across the bor­der”.

Ly­onch­hen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay said that, if the per­pe­tra­tors are on our own Bhutanese soil, we can mat­ter to our own hand, but for­tu­nate fact is that they are camped in for­est across the bor­der ar­eas in In­dia.

Our main op­tion is limited to work­ing with the In­dian of­fi­cial, and work­ing through well es­tab­lished chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the two gov­ern­ment and the se­cu­rity forces.

“The in­ten­sion of the kid­nap­per is to ex­tract the money, the gov­ern­ment can­not come into di­a­logue with the kid­nap­pers and the gov­ern­ment will not be drawn into ne­go­ti­at­ing any ran­som. That’s not some­thing that we should do or some­thing that would form long term so­lu­tion” said the Ly­onch­hen.

Ly­onch­hen fur­ther said that kid­nap­pers had been ne­go­ti­at­ing with the par­ents, it’s ex­tremely painful.

If they were in Bhutanese sov­er­eign ter­ri­tory, we can do lot more, but the fact is they are not. There­fore, we are limited to op­tion of work­ing with through In­dian gov­ern­ment and the se­cu­rity forces said the Ly­onch­hen.

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