Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Three De-Suup escorts and two truck drivers were put under the 21 days facility quarantine for unintentionally breaching the standard operation procedure (SoP) of escort services along the Indian highway in Samdrupjongkhar yesterday.

They were travelling to Samdrupjongkhar from Phuentsholing on February 3.

According to sources, one of the Bhutanese trucks met with an accident with a bike because of the traffic congestion in Jaigaon in India. The case reportedly was settled by paying Nu 700 to the Indian biker. However, the case became severe when one of the Bhutanese trucks met with an accident with an Indian grand I10 at Bijni in Assam, India around 4:30pm the same day.

Sources said that an Indian driver asked the Bhutanese truck driver to pay Nu 31,000 as compensation for hitting his car.

“We came out from the car as an Indian driver attacked the Bhutanese truck driver when he refused to pay. We breached the escort services SoP, but it was not intentionally. We came out to save the Bhutanese driver,” one of the escorts said.

As per sources, an Indian driver told the Bhutanese to visit the Hyundai showroom to replace his car’s door damaged by the truck.

“We went in his car as we already came into close contact with him, but we tried to maintain the Covid-19 safety measures wearing a mask and gloves,” an escort, Jigme Wangchuk said.

He said that they paid Nu 10,000 and that the balance would be paid next time after visiting the showroom.

“The three escorts came together with the truck driver maintaining about 500-metre distance from other vehicles. We directly went to quarantine with the officials after reaching Samdrupjongkhar around 3am yesterday,” Jigme Wangchuk said.

Jigme Wangchuk said that escorts faced challenges to control about 30 to 40 vehicles every day, as there are only about four escorts. “It would help if the concerned authorities such as the control room could provide travel permits to the limited vehicles,” he said.