Indo-Bhutan border recce

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Jaigaon
  • Published 19.02.08
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Jaigaon, Feb. 18: A team of police and civil officials from India and Bhutan today conducted a joint inspection of the border running along the Nagrakata police station area of Jalpaiguri district.

After the recent incidents of blasts in Bhutan, the country was apprehensive that criminals might have sneaked in through the Indian border, said R.J.S. Nalwa, the inspector-general of police, north Bengal.

With the maiden elections to the Lower House of Bhutan scheduled for March 24, today’s exercise was an important one. “We have inspected about 100km on the border and decided to set up a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) camp at Luksan Bazar in Nagrakata,” Nalwa said. The Bengal police would also step up vigil in border towns in north Bengal, he added.

Southern Bhutan has about 200km of border with north Bengal. The joint inspection team visited Luksan Bazar and the Gachi and Jiti tea gardens that fall along the area. The officials also held a meeting at the Nagrakata police station.

The joint secretary of the Butanese home ministry, Dasho Wangda, who led the country’s team, said the royal government was bent on ensuring a peaceful and free election.

“The elections are taking place because of our king’s decision. We will not let anyone put a blot on it,” Wangda said.

There is a rising tension in the refugee camps in east Nepal where thousands of Bhutanese of Nepali origin have been living ever since the monarchy had driven them out from the kingdom in the early nineties.

At present, over 1.2 lakh refugees are living in camps in Nepal’s Jhapa district and have been demanding that they be allowed to return to their country of origin.