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Bhutan concern over rise in border crime

Kokrajhar, Dec. 28: The Bhutan government has expressed concern over the rise in crime along its border with India and sought security arrangements in the area.

Tsering Wangola, the consulate general of Bhutan in Calcutta, visited the border areas in Kokrajhar district on Thursday and met the village headmen at Ultapani. BTC deputy chief Kampha Borgoyary was also present in the meeting.

The development came after a series of abduction and attacks on Bhutanese nationals in the past few months.

A lama, identified as Dorjila, was abducted on November 17 from his residence at Gakling in Sarpang district of Bhutan. The village is hardly 200 metres from the international border.

According to Bhutanese officials, unidentified criminals entered Bhutan territory at Gakling in the evening and whisked away the lama.

He was released from Dadgiri in Chirang after three weeks when Rs 5-lakh ransom was paid to the kidnappers.

According to Bhutanese officials, there have been several incidents of violence since July.

On July 8, criminals ambushed an army patrol, killing one and injuring two others near Khepkhola. On October 16, hooligans set off a bomb at Tin Bandhi near Bhurkhola in an attempt to blow up the bridge.

On October 22, Benulal Sonar, a local taxi driver, was abducted from the same route. He was released in Chirang on November 7 after the payment of Rs 2.1 lakh in ransom.

Another blast was reported on a highway culvert near the airport on October 23 midnight to blow up the only road connecting Gelephu and Thimphu. However, no damage was done.

Moreover, a Nepali woman, Choki, was attacked and injured at Sixtykhola on November 3.

Tsering Wangola said the primary role of his consulate was to establish peace among the people residing in the border areas.

“I came here to interact with border residents from both sides and to deepen our relationship,” Wangola said.

He stressed the need to build unity and said the villagers need to be alert to avoid crime.

He urged the BTC administration to ensure the establishment of good relations with Bhutan.

Expressing displeasure over the recent spate of kidnapping and extortion in border areas, he said, “The crimes are committed by anti-social elements who do not want peace and development in the area.”

He said Bhutan has always been in touch with the BTC administration for security arrangements.

Kampha Borgoyary said the recent crimes have created resentment among border residents in both countries.

He has said the administration is taking steps to stop the crimes.

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