Western MPs plan to sneak in the village via Indian soil

Regardless of the ruling party president G P Koirala’s appeal to his party’s members in the parliament to return to their respective constituencies, most of the lawmakers fear they may not be able to oblige their boss, thanks to the fragile law and order situation in the country.

The MPs have been asked to fill the political vacuum in the villages by ‘greater than ever’ movements against the Maoist rebel group. Let alone the movement, they even fear to step on their home constituencies.

Narendra Bahadur Bam, a ruling party member of parliament from Baitadi-1 has already lost his family home at Purchouni Hat Village Development Committee (VDC) where the rebels have taken charge. Once the rebels took over the house, the lawmaker’s father Dambar Bahadur Bam, a MP himself during Panchyat regime, had to vacate the house along with his wife to take refuge in a neighbour’s house. The MP’s parents helplessly spent over a month for the rebels to leave. Finally they gave up the hope and fled to Dhangadhi and later to the capital in son’s custody.

Confirming the news, MP Narendra Bahadur Bam told the Himalayan Times, “It is true that they have taken control of our house after chasing my parents away.” He said that there was a remarkable activity of the rebels in his district since the ceasefire and dialogue began between the government and the Maoist. “There was no presence of the government and the rebels managed to take away even the teenagers to their training camps.”

Chief district officer (CDO) of Baitadi district, Parashuram Sharma, denied the MP’s house had been taken by the rebels. “His house is in a remote village, a two-days walk from the district headquarter. I sent a security force there but they couldn’t find any rebels then. They keep on coming and going. We are unable to provide security to inaccessible villages for ever,” said Sharma.

He stated that there was not even a single security unit in the area of 80 km. “They can do whatever they like,” he said and claimed that many underground terrorists were close relatives of the MP, who frequently venture in the villages to rob their own people.

However, the district officer said that he would provide security once the MPs dare to enter the village.

“We are comfortably living in the district headquarter, there is nothing to panic,” he said. The officer said that instead of coming through the land route within the country, it was safer for the lawmakers to enter from the Indian border near Jhulaghat.

Another ruling member of parliament from Baitadi-2, Binaya Dhoj Chand, also has a similar thought. “Not only Narendra Bam but no MP is in the position to return to the villages,” said Chand, “Terrorists have destroyed bridges and roads to our villages. We have only one option of going through India, as we used to do 20 years ago.”

He said that going within the constituency was out of question, “however, we will try to be in the district headquarters.”

MP Narendra Bam also thinks alike. “I don’t think I will be able to make to my village, but we are trying to go to the district headquarter via Indian soil.”