Chhimi Dema

It has been 25 days since a 26-year-old lecturer, who is also an author, went missing in Trashiyangtse.

A search team, including police, de-ssups, Red Cross Society volunteers, staff of the Zorig Chusum, family and friends combed everywhere in the locality, looking for him. He could not be found.

In Thimphu, a chef of a hotel went missing from Changjiji. He claimed he was going to hospital and never returned.

As of June, police recorded 44 cases of missing persons in the country this year.

Records with police showed that of the 44 reported cases, 27 were found. Four were dead and 17 are still missing.

Senior Superintendent of police for crime, Colonel Phub Gyeltshen, said that some adults, who have gone missing had mental health problems.

He said some people are still considered missing because their dead bodies were not found. “Some could have left the country, but did not inform their families.”

He said that some people fail to inform the police when people return home.

Colonel Phub Gyeltshen said that people who were stressed and have relationship issues were reported missing in many cases. “Many youth, who elope, are also reported missing.”

He explained they consider cases of missing women and children seriously, as they are at risk of rape and abuse.

Meanwhile, records show that the number of missing persons decreased from 195 persons in 2019 to 167 persons in 2020.

Colonel Phub Gyeltshen said it could be because of the travel restrictions during the Covid-19 situation and the check post management system, which requires people to register while travelling. “People understand that it would be easier to trace them with the check post management system if they go missing.”

He explained that once a missing person case was reported to police, the person’s photographs are circulated to police stations and check posts in the country. “Search parties are deployed and the traffic police are informed. Missing individuals were also located using CCTV footage.”

Police officials said parents should not be negligent, but take care of their children’s whereabouts and schools should teach law, value and sex education.

Edited by Tashi Dema