In separate incidents, stray arrows struck three men on their foreheads during an archery match in Trashigang on September 23 and 24.

Kuenzang Dorji, 23, from Merak, who was injured after an arrow hit his forehead, is currently under observation at a hospital in Guwahati, India.

The patient has not regained consciousness since he was operated on September 25, according to his relative.

The incident took place during a traditional archery match that was held to celebrate Blessed Rainy Day between the teams from Merak and Togshimang.

Kuenzang Dorji was rushed to the Rangjung BHU after he was injured.

According to his brother-in-law, Rinchen Tashi, Kuenzang Dorji was not near the target when the incident occurred.

“He was watching the game from a distance with two other friends,” he said. “When people yelled that the arrow had deflected, the other two quickly ducked. Kuenzang couldn’t and the arrow hit his forehead.”

The doctor at the BHU and the deputy chief dzongkhag health officer in Trashigang were not available for comments.

The on-call doctor at Trashigang hospital said that when the patient was brought to the hospital he was unconscious. “Due to the bad weather condition, the patient could not be airlifted to the national referral hospital in Thimphu.” Given his condition, the patient was then referred to Guwahati.

In Yangnyer gewog the same day, a 45-year-old farmer, Tempa Gyeltshen from Gongthung was also hit with an arrow on his forehead during an archery match.

As soon as the arrow struck Tempa Gyeltshen, he pulled off the arrow causing substantial bleeding from the wound, the nose and mouth. “I didn’t know what to do so I just removed the arrow,” he said.

His son-in-law shot the arrow.

According to Tempa Gyeltshen, the wind deflected the arrow and hit him. “I was leaning on the ground making a phone call to my friend when the incident occurred,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the wind, I would not have been hit. The distance between me and the target was almost two metres.”

After undergoing treatment at the Yangnyer BHU, he was referred to Trashigang hospital on September 24. According to the on-call doctor, he is now in stable condition.

Another man in his early 50s from Khaling was also referred to the hospital after he was hit with an arrow on the forehead on September 24. The doctor said that the patient had also removed the arrow himself when he came to the hospital.

With not much complication from the injury, the man was discharged the next day.

Younten Tshedup | Trashigang