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War-hit women observe Teej fast for their missing husbands

- DIPAK BAYALKOTI, KATHMANDU
War-hit women observe Teej fast for their missing husbands

Aug 28, 2014-

Thirty-eight-year-old Shova Bhatta observes fast in Teej every year for longevity of her husband, whom she has not met for years. Her husband, Shyam Bhatta, was disappeared by the then Maoist rebels 13 years ago. The rebels took her husband on October 4, 2001 from Bisendevi Temple of Old Naikap in Kathmandu. She has never seen him again.

“I often light an oil lamp, and pray the God for his long and peaceful life,” she said. “My heart still says he is alive and will return soon.”

She has not rejoiced festivities since Shyam was abducted. “I am eager to know whereabouts of his condition,” she said.

Hundreds of Hindu women, whose husbands were disappeared during the insurgency, still observe fasting during Teej festival.

The National Human Right Commission (NHRC) has documented 933 cases of forceful disappearances during the insurgency. Of them, over 80 percent of them were married and many had children.

A total of 833 men were disappeared during the conflict and 731 of them were above 19, according to the NHRC.

The government failed to form the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as envisioned in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, to look into the incidents of rights violations. The govenrment has passed a transitional justice law but formation of the commission is still a far cry, said Ram Bhandari, founder of the National Network of Families of the Disappeared.

“I do not participate in the festivities any more, although I always pray for his life,” said Ruby Shrestha, whose husband Rajendra Mali disappeared after he was arrested by security forces in 2003. “I feel helpless when my 12-year-old daughter asks about her father.”

MTPD advises alternative routes

In order to ease traffic movement during the Teej festival, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Department (MTPD) has devised alternative routes and parking for Thursday. The MTPD has advised vehicles plying especially on roads in the periphery of the Pashupatinath area to be diverted to various other alternative routes.

As per the planned alternatives routes, vehicles plying on the Koteshwore-Tinkune-Airport-Gausala road will be diverted via Sinamangal while vehicles moving along the Maharajgunj-Sukedhara-Chabahil road will be diverted to the Gopikrishna corridor.

Similarly, vehicles plying on Maitidevi-Gaushala route will be redirected to Old Baneshwor-Maitidevi corridor. Likewise, traffic along the Kalopul-Gaushala road will be diverted from Siphal and those on the Ratopul-Gaushala to Ratopul corridor.

Vehicles plying on the Jorpati-Boudha road are advised to take the Chaibhail-Chucchepaati route.

The MTPD has also advised vehicles plying on the Battisputali-Gaushala road to divert from Old Baneshwor Chowk and those on the Boudha corridor and Kharibot route to use the Gaurighat road. These alternative routes can be used from 5am to 8pm.

Besides the routes, the MTPD also decided to use Gaushala Police Circle as parking for vehicles used for emergency and security services and Devudhyaan Trust Office for VIP and pass holders. All other vehicles can be parked at Tilganga, Siphal ground and Guheswori area.

Published: 28-08-2014 08:28

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