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Thu, 21 Nov 2019

Northeast Today

Indian Tourist detained in Bhutan

Indian Tourist detained in Bhutan
October 19
12:09 2019

NET Bureau

An Indian tourist was detained in Bhutan, for disrespecting the religious site of the state. The accused Abhijit Ratan Hajare from Maharashtra had been travelling across the Bhutanese countryside with a 15-bike convoy. The team was led by a Bhutanese national who was unaware of the event. The incident happened this week at the Dochula Pass that connects Thimpu to Punakha.

Hajare was seen standing above the stupas or chortens which are known as “Druk Wangyal Chortens”. According to the Facebook group- BHUTAN “Land of the Thunder Dragon”, a total of 108 memorial stupas were built in memory of the 108 Bhutanese soldiers who were killed in the 2003 battle, during the first ever operation- “Operation all Clear” conducted by the Royal Bhutan Army.

The incident came to light when the photos and videos of the tourist standing on the stupa went viral on social media.

A WeChat group called ‘Bhutan Tourism stakeholders’ said, “Just because you don’t require a visa to visit Bhutan, and can pretty much roam around freely without a guide, doesn’t give you the right to do whatever you want. Please remember you are in a different country, be good ambassadors of your own country and respect the host country’s religious sentiments.
The stupa you are standing on is called a chorten, it’s a sacred Buddhist shrine, devout Buddhist practitioners circumambulate around these stupas and pray. Seen here are bikers filming youtube videos, using scared chortens as props, we have no words!
You are most welcome to Bhutan, but please be mindful.”

Following outrage after images of the stunt went viral, the Bhutan Royal Police has detained Hazare and confiscated his passport.

Source: News 18

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