Staff reporter 

Gelephu residents are questioning why officials, who helped the businesswoman avail documents to travel to Thimphu without staying in mandatory seven days quarantine last year were not held accountable.

The 37-year-old businesswoman travelled to Thimphu without staying in mandatory seven days quarantine from Gelephu last year. She, however, managed to get Covid-19 test, quarantine certificates, and a special vehicle permit from officials.

Police in Gelephu charged the businesswoman for breaching public disorder and tranquillity.

A Gelephu resident said it is not clear why officials who helped her with the documents were not held accountable. “If we want to avoid such incidents in future, action should be taken.”

He said people who knew about the procedure did not follow it. “The businesswoman was given a quarantine document although she never stayed in quarantine.”

He also said that anyone would request for a permit but it was only the ones who knew the officials, who availed it without even following protocols.

Gelephu police said the case was forward to the court and they only charged the woman. Police officials refused to comment why officials were not held accountable.

It was learnt police called the Sarpang dzongkhag de-suung coordinator, who was alleged of providing the special vehicle permit to the businesswoman for investigation.

The de-suung coordinator, however, explained the businesswoman had a medical certificate stating that she could travel on an emergency basis during the incident. “There was also a supporting medical document properly signed and sealed by a medical doctor from Thimphu about her son-in-law being admitted in a hospital.”

He said the incident commander and superintendent of police signed blank special vehicle permit and de-suups distributed it, as the dzongkhag did not have designated teams to coordinate the emergency travellers. “De-suups just had to write names, identity card numbers, and vehicle number of the emergency traveller on the permit card.”