Print Edition - 2014-04-24  |  News

Displaced 8 years ago, conflict victims still ‘unwilling’ to return

- BECHU GAUD, Parasi

Apr 23, 2014-People from Bargadawa village in the district, who were displaced after the then Maoist rebels attacked the settlement killing 11 local residents eight years ago, have not returned yet. The rebels had set the whole settlement on fire in a retaliatory attack against a committee formed to defy Maoist cadres in the village.

According to Sabroon Neesa, a local resident, though there are neither Maoist rebels nor the ‘protest’ committee in the village now, villagers were hesitant to return to the settlement as they did not want to relive the horror.

Apparently, some Dalits who had purchased a plot of land from Bhagwat Chaudhary had filed a complaint with Maoists following delay in ownership transfer. The Maoist rebels, acting upon a decision of Maoist’s people’s court, killed Chaudhary’s son Sanjay. In return, the ‘protest’ committee members killed Ram Kisun Chamar from the Dalit settlement. Then the enraged rebels, in search of the ‘protest’ committee members, went berserk going door to door and killing children, youth and even guests, according to victims.

Chaudhary, who migrated to India following the gruesome murder of his son, has not returned ever since, Neesa said. Chaudhary’s daughter-in-law has been living at her maternal home and comes to the village only to collect the paddy from her farmland. Only a select few have stayed back but are saddened by the apathy of the government.

 Dhandhari Konhar, 80, whose youngest son was killed in the incident, broke into tears saying that the image of the incident still flashes before his eyes. The rebels had dragged her son from his room where he was sleeping and killed him in front of her eyes.

Meanwhile, with the exception of assurances, the victims seeking justice and compensation have received none. The villagers have given up hope as it failed to yield despite years of efforts.

Chief District Officer Keshab Raj Ghimire said they were unable to provide compensation due to some procedural error. “It is essential that the political parties take up the issue at the central level,” he said. Though a local peace committee had laid the foundation stone for the construction of a memorial of the deceased in two katthas of land and constructed a barb-wire fence around it last year, the project has been in limbo ever since, Neesa said.

Haidal Ali Miya, former coordinator of the local peace committee, said it was imperative that the state provide relief, compensation and move forward with reconstruction plans.

Published: 24-04-2014 08:22

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