Internally displaced threaten agitation

Kathmandu, September 11 :

Maoist victims and internally displaced individuals have threatened to launch a movement if the government continues to turn a blind eye to their plight.

Despite the Maoists’ assurance that all is well and that the displaced can return home, the victims claim that the situation is far from normal.

Addressing a press conference organised by the Nepal Maoist Victims’ Organisation (NMVO)

here today, Shankar Budathoki, the central committee member of the NMVO, said: “If the government fails to address our problems, we will be forced to take up arms. There are over 1 million internally displaced people in the country.”

He said the movement should be launched in all the 75 districts.

“We want to go home, but we should get our property back,” Kalyan Budathoki, a displaced person, said.

The displaced have been asked to return home, but it is impossible given the circumstances, he said. “Maoist leaders Prachanda and Babu Ram Bhattarai give eloquent speeches, but they do not have any control over their cadres,” he said.

Maoist victim Muktinath Sharma said he was running the Shree Prabhat Higher Secondary School in Doti district, but the Maoists axed his legs in 2004.

Since then he has been forced to live in the city for treatment that cost him well over Rs 2 million. “There is a trend of the culprits going scot-free while the innocent people are being victimised for no fault of theirs,” he said.

Another victim of the decade-long insurgency, Purna Maya Lama of Dapcha VDC in Kavre district, was hopeful that her husband Arjun Bahadur Lama would return soon.

“A few individuals came and took away my husband for ‘interrogation’ in 2005, but his whereabouts are not known,” she said.

She further said that her house is under lock and key and that she, along with her children, has been displaced.