After the third abduction case in Sarpang in the last four months, residents feel that the security in their gewogs should be tightened.
They said volunteer members with just traditional bow and arrow is not enough for the prevailing circumstances. Therefore the residents now want extra care and security from the government’s side.
Earlier gewog communities, located near the bordering areas voluntarily stood up for the security of their respective communities.
The community feels that night patrolling for volunteers is not enough since the issue has become frequent and dangerous.
The Gakidling Gewog Gup said volunteers without any delay stand ready to protect the community but abductors from nowhere come and abduct people.
The Gup said “The unarmed volunteers remain hamstrung and helpless even if the problem rises steadily”.
“Forget about guns, our volunteers don’t even have binoculars to see what is happening in the isolated jungles,” he added. He and his volunteer members felt a need for similar militia equipments for them.
In addition he suggested government to establish one head office of militia near their gewogs. “It’s different to have an army headquarter near us, a sense of security is there when the military is near us,” he added.
Few however expressed skepticism on such a move.
Dekidling Gup Gomchen said “Initially we also saw the need of such kind of facilities and we proposed to Government also.” But, he said even if our volunteers are facilitated with such facilities there are risks affiliated.
“Our volunteers are not trained to use military equipments, and even if government provides them with facilities there is a risk of it getting into the opponent’s hand,” said Gelephu Gup Tashi.
Instead, he suggested government should recruit ex-army officials who have the strength and ability to work to safeguard them.
“This is not the first case where we are experiencing such issues, it’s the third time and our opponents have treated our people as their commodity,” he added.
Therefore, he said the military forces in country should be extra vigilant after the first case.
The Samtenling Gewog Gup personally feels a need of private pistols for gewog officials as they need to travel frequently on official tours.
“Even if government can’t pay for us it would grateful if they can issue a license for us,” he said.
Meanwhile the Gewog officials said that they have put up a proposal to the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs (MoHCA).
In the meantime, the gewog officials and residents hope that something good will happen and henceforth no such abductions or any related issues will rise.
At the moment the army and police officers are actively participating in the night patrolling. And volunteers in the gewog are still carrying their traditional bow, arrows and swords to safeguard the community.
For those who don’t have bows and arrow, canes or stick are their weapons while out night patrolling.