Rescue personnel forced to live under open sky

- Rishiram Poudel, Sindhupalchok

May 4, 2015-

Just as many of the locals here are, the security personnel involved in rescue and relief operations have also been compelled to take shelter under the open sky, as most of the police posts have either collapsed or been rendered uninhabitable. Moreover, the buildings have suffered significant damage on account of the locals’ vandalising them because they were angered by the delay in relief and rescue efforts. Locals in Barahbise, for example, damaged a police patrol van, leaving the police with no vehicles.

The lack of proper operations bases has many policemen worried. “As they have been sleeping in the ground under the open sky, we fear that they may get sick,” said Police Inspector (PI) Chandra Bahadur Thapa of Melamchi. Likewise, because the Barahbise Police Post has turned into a heap of rubble, and without there being even a tent at the premises, most police personnel sleep in public vehicles parked on the roads.

Some policemen have lost their lives as well. In Larcha, a police constable stationed at the border police post succumbed to injuries he sustained during the Great Quake, because he hadn’t been treated even eight hours after the tremors hit. According to his colleagues, his life could have been saved had he been rescued in time. Similarly, PI Keshab Bahadur Shah, posted in Larcha, had remained out of contact three days after the disaster, and it was only after repeated requests were made by his family to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) that he was rescued.

All in all, 23 permanent and temporary police posts all over the district have suffered damage. They include posts in Tipeni, Manekharka, Melamchi, Thokarpa, Bhotechaur, Nawalpur, Barahbise, Larcha, Pisker, Thulopakhar, Jalbire, Balefi, Lamosanghu, among others.

The police have also not been able to procure separate tents for female security personnel. Speaking under the condition of anonymity, one police personnel said that the policewomen’s condition was beyond miserable.

Complaining that the government did not provide a tent even 10 days past the disaster and that the victims were demanding for an answer, the source said that their problems has gone virtually unaddressed.

Published: 05-05-2015 08:55

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