Mother's endless wait for son

KATHMANDU: The Maoists might have emerged victorious in the decade-long insurgency, but many Nepalis continue to suffer in its aftermath.

Masali Biswokarma of Mulpani VDC has not seen her son, Tirtha Biswokarma, for the past six years. Bishwokarma, a squatter, who originally hails from Dolakha, nonetheless hasn't lost her hope. Tirtha went missing since June 2004. "He never informed us about his whereabouts, but we found out later that he had joined the People's Liberation Army," she said.

Tirtha, the student of BA at Kantipur Campus, Thali, had once visited his mother a year after he had turned a rebel. Upon his mother's insistence to stay back he had said, "Army will kill me if I stay here."

Gyan Bahadur Biswokarma, Tirtha's father, said, "We have talked to many journalists about this issue but to no avail, nothing has changed."

He further expressed that they had no access to political heavyweights therefore their problem has not been addressed properly. The poverty-stricken family claims that he was the sole bread-winner of the family. "No amount of money can compensate the loss of my son. We would be grateful if we only knew if our son was dead or alive," he said.

The government has brought forth the package of distributing Rs 100,000 each to the family members of victims whose status is still unknown, while Rs 25,000 has been distributed to the families of those victims who have been found after missing for one month.A team of National Human Rights Commission have been visiting several districts for official confirmation and data collection.

Basudev Bajgain, Protection officer, NHRC, informed that family members of the victims still came to register the names of the missing family members.

" We investigate into such cases and provide compensation," he said adding that the government was soon forming Disappearance Commission to expedite the process.