Residents have grown nervous after a recent vicious mugging incident

Border: The border belt close to the sewerage tank neighbourhood in Phuentsholing has started to become unsafe, with residents calling for some security for the safety of both locals and those across the border.

On the evening of January 21, two elderly men, who were on a regular evening walk, were attacked by two unknown miscreants.  One of the men, in his early 80s, was beaten unconscious.

The miscreants from across the border had jumped over the wall and, at knifepoint, demanded cash.  They robbed the other man of INR 11,000 and more than Nu 2,000 along with their cellphones.

The son of the man, who was beaten, said it was time residents raised concerns.

“I want concerned authorities to take necessary action for the safety,” he said. “Similar incidents may occur in future. According to the son, his father is still disturbed.

Meanwhile, residents nearby the sewerage area also said that this wasn’t a first.  Some residents have become suspicious that the robberies that occurred in the past in this area had to do with the border area being unprotected and unsafe.

A corporate worker, who lives in the sewerage area settlement, said miscreants robbed his and a neighbour’s home a few years ago. “We reported to police but nothing came up,” the resident said.

But the border area is unsafe for people both in Bhutan and Jaigaon.  The wall that divides the two boundaries is easy to climb.  The wall is about 20-24m away from the sewerage tank.

As the wall is easy to climb, residents said daily workers from across the border also jump over the wall. “Labourers use this area everyday,” another resident said. “A few days ago, there were ladders on both side of the wall.”

Most day workers are from the KMT printing press and Pelbar printing press, residents said.  However, the ladders have been removed, Kuensel found.

Residents recalled that the accused, who went missing after an alleged hit-and-run case in Paro, had escaped by jumping over the same wall when police were chasing him.

By Rajesh Rai, P/ling