Accident: Bodies of the two students who died in a bike accident in Punjab will be flown to Bhutan today.

The students, aged 20 ad 18, were 1st year students pursuing Hotel Management at GNA University in Punjab.

The bodies were preserved for four nights at Civil Hospital in Phagwara, about seven kilometres away from Lovely Professional University (LPU).

The president of Bhutanese Student Association, Pem Tshering Tamang, said that in the evening of September 11, when the accident occurred, a group of five friends, including two Indian students, headed out for a dinner to a nearby McDonald restaurant on two bikes.

“The two victims and an Indian friend were following the first bike but they could not negotiate a turning and hit an electric pole,” Pem Tshering Tamang said.  “While one of them, a 20 year-old died on the spot, his friend, a 18-year-old Bhutanese student died on the way to the hospital.”

The Indian student who was driving the bike suffered severe head and leg injuries.

Bhutan Embassy in Delhi and the parents of the students were informed immediately. Parents of the two Bhutanese students reached Punjab on September 13 night.

Every year, at least one fatal bike accidents occur among Bhutanese students studying in India.

In 2011, a 22-year-old final year dental student was killed in a bike accident in Bangalore.  Another final year IT student studying at the Pondicherry Engineering College in Tamil Nadu was killed on the spot when the motorcycle he was riding crashed into a truck.

Biking culture among Bhutanese student studying in India is popular. Punjab alone has about 40 percent of Bhutanese student riding bike to college.

“We don’t know whether the parents know about it, but most of the Bhutanese students get quickly influenced by the biking culture here,” said Pem Tshering Tamang.

Nirmala Pokhrel