Darjeeling, Aug. 30: The apex body of hoteliers in the town has said it will ask all hotels not to allow minors to book rooms and they must be accompanied by guardians.
The move comes after the murder of a teenaged youth, allegedly by a 16-year-old boy who had booked a room in Hotel Capital with two other friends.
The hotel owners have also got orders from the Janmukti Hotel Owners’ Association not to allow boarders of various public schools accommodation unless they get a letter of permission from the institution.
Sangay Tshering, the president of the hoteliers’ association, today said: “We have decided to ask hotels in Darjeeling not to let out rooms to minors unless they are accompanied by guardians. Even school boarders who plan to stay in hotels during short vacations will be asked to produce a letter from the respective school authorities.”
Boarders from say Kathmandu or Dhaka, who have local guardians, stay in hotels during short vacations such as Easter and during weekends.
The hotel owners’ association said the rules required hotels in Darjeeling — there are around 275 registered hotels here — to let in a guest only after checking their identity, which would include their photographs and age proof.
“We have to admit that there are some hotels that do not always ask for identity,” Tshering said.
“Though most hotels submit a list of guests to the police station everyday, a few do not bother to take the trouble. We will make it mandatory for all hotels to submit the names, even of the locals who check in, to the police station the next day,” Tshering added.
Eighteen-year-old Nima Tamang, was allegedly murdered by Nakul (name changed) on Tuesday night following a scuffle.
Yesterday, police said that Nakul had told them he struck Nima with a sharp object he found lying on the road.
Today, however, they gave a different version. The police said Nakul had confessed that he had a pocket knife with him.
“During questioning, the accused admitted that he was carrying a pocket knife, which we later recovered from the hotel bathroom,” said Lobsang T. Bhutia, inspector-in-charge of Darjeeling Sadar police station.
Mani Pradhan, general secretary of Darjeeling Mitra Milan Sangh Pachphanhatta, said: “Nima Tamang, was an innocent and a hardworking youth who used to sustain his family doing odd-jobs. He died for no fault and for no particular reason. He was not part of the revellers ”
Nima had gone out scouting for a friend, with whom the accused had planned to stay at the hotel room.Police sources maintain that the accused had no money with him. “We found that one of the three girls had paid the hotel bill and also shelled out money to buy the beer and cigarettes as it was her birthday,” said a police official.
The accused was produced before a juvenile court in Darjeeling and has been sent to a juvenile home in Jalpaiguri. The next date for hearing has been fixed for September 12.