Nganglam border gate sealed

… following protests about a fatal accident allegedly involving a Bhutanese truck

Border: The Nganglam border gate has remained closed since the evening of July 18 after Indian police asked the Royal Bhutan Police to seal the border.

Police officials are advising people not to travel to and from Nganglam until further notice.

Police officials also said that a student union in Assam has alleged that a Bhutanese truck hit an Indian registered vehicle killing two people on impact near the border town of Dhawdara on the evening of July 18. Dhawdara is about 17km from Nganglam.

The driver of the truck did not remain at the scene of the accident.

According to unconfirmed reports, the Indian car was on the way to Dhawdara while the truck was on the way to Nganglam.

Police officials said it is yet to be confirmed if the allegations that the Bhutanese truck was involved are true.

“Our check post entry record showed that the same Santro car (Indian registered) entered Nganglam around 12:30pm and exited around 3:30pm,” a police official said. “We then checked all the trucks that entered Nganglam on the same evening but there was no trucks that had signs of an accident.”

The accident occurred at around 7:30pm (IST).

It has also been alleged that there were six people inside the truck while the entry record showed there were only two people including the driver.

Indian police advised the RBP to not allow Bhutanese vehicles to use the Assam highway and to keep the border gate closed. Indian police informed that student unions are still protesting and could attack Bhutanese vehicles.

“It is not sure if it was a Bhutanese or Indian truck or how the accident occurred but we are still investigating the case and searching for the truck,” a police official said.

Police said they will keep the gate closed until the problem is solved and for the people’s safety. However, Indian registered trucks will be allowed to pass through the gate.

According to the police official, Indian police are negotiating with the protestors.

“We’re hoping traffic will open within two or three days.”

Yangchen C Rinzin

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