Government still in dialogue with its Indian counterpart for abduction case
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.