Recently a Bhutanese school teacher travelling from Paro to New York was held by Indian security personnel at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, after they found 10 AK-47 bullets in her suitcase.
The carrying of such dangerous weapons into an Indian airport is considered as a serious matter and invites strong legal consequences.
Bhutan’s diplomatic channels, after being alerted on the issue, went to work and the teacher was let off considering the friendly diplomatic relations between the two countries.
However, the matter has not gone done well at all in Thimphu as this is considered to not only be a major security breach at the Paro International Airport, but also an embarrassment for Bhutan.
A preliminary report on the issue is even more damning as it shows that the woman in question was escorted by a police official who was helping to check her in. On top of this a BAFRA official waited to receive the woman and get excess baggage waived off. In short, the woman who is not a diplomatic passport holder got VIP treatment at the airport.
The airport security personnel at the airport who normally are quite thorough in checking both the luggage and even pockets of boarding passengers said that they thought the bullets were ‘coins’ in the X-ray.
The airport on its part suspended two officials for a week each on the matter. However, the government is not at all pleased neither with the incident nor the action taken and the so the Ministry of Information and Communication is conducting a fresh probe and will recommend the action to be taken.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay on 4th April 2017 met with the airport security officials over the issue and told the security personnel they bear the immense responsibility for a safe and conducive environment for all the travelers and people.
Lyonchhen reminded the gathering that the security checks in the airport is important as the Paro International Airport is an important check mark for all travelers and people.
The PM, however, in his public Facebook post while mentioning a meeting with airport security personnel did not mention the AK-47 bullets issue.
Story Update on 12th April 2017: The name of the school teacher is Sonam Choden aged 38. She is a divorcee. The case is under active investigation.