… netizens pour out concerns after a stray arrow hits a boy nearby

Thukten Zangpo 

After a 14-year-old boy was hit by a stray arrow in the leg while playing volleyball on December 25 in Changlimithang, Thimphu, social media flooded with calls to immediately relocate the archery range.

The boy was undergoing volleyball coaching with his friend next to the archery range in Changlimithang when he was hit at around 12:20pm.

He underwent treatment at the national referral hospital in Thimphu and was reported to be in stable condition.

This is not the first time that a stray arrow from the Changlimithang archery range has hit people. Strays landed at the nearby football stadium and even on the roads.

One of the netizens posted: “The archery range at Changlimithang needs to be relocated and the place used for some other purposes. It is really a dangerous place.”

“Such incidents loom large until one of the playgrounds is relocated. Only when the precious life is lost, would they take action?” asked another.

Some of the netizens also posted that if the archery range cannot be relocated, the archery range needs to be enclosed completely with high walls.

Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association’s coordinator, Tshewang Namgay said that it is a serious issue and the agency is not taking it lightly.

“In past two days, we have had extensive discussions about safety measures and making improvements, and discussions are still ongoing,” he said.

He added that the agency is in contact with the victim and the shooter and the agency is concerned as much as the public.

The netizens also posted that all archery fields anywhere near settlements and houses should be demolished and relocated to safer isolated places.

Posting pictures of archery ranges in Changbangdu, Babesa near Greener Way, on the way to Royal Thimphu College, near Babesa truck parking, Khasadrapchu, and upper Motithang, social media users claimed that these avenues were all unsafe.

The netizens questioned the requirement of the archery players’ licence, alcohol checks, and safety of compound bows.

On average, 10 cases related to archery incidents are referred to the national referral hospital every year.