12 years on, Bandarmudhe bomb blast victims await justice

CHITWAN: Twelve years have elapsed since the infamous Bandarmudhe bomb blast, but the victims of this attack are still fighting for justice.

The bomb blast carried out by the then rebelling CPN Maoist on a passenger bus at Madi of southern Chitwan had taken the lives of 38 people, leaving 72 mutilated.

The country witnessed history-breaking change in this period and switched to a federal republic system with the abolition of 240-year-old monarchy, the woes of the Bandarmudhe victims are not yet redressed.

The incident had received widespread condemnation from home and aboard and the CPN Maoist Centre which was responsible for the incident has publicly apologised for it, calling it a 'mistake'.

The victims have formed a struggle committee to pile pressure on the bodies concerned to address their demand. Bandarmudhe Incident Victims Struggle Committee Vice Chair Krishna Adhikari strongly believed that no matter how many years were passed, the guilty deserve punishment as per the national and international laws.

The bereaved families have so far been provided with Rs 500,000 as compensation and among the injured, 18 have just received minimum relief assistance, as said by Adhikari."They are waiting for justice and reparation."

More, the majority of victims have felt discrimination against them in the relief distribution. Their grievance is that only two victims close to the party were given all the compensations announced by the state. Remaining others have just got around 20 per cent compensation.

Among those left mutilated in the explosion, ten are not in the position of doing daily works. Some others have been suffering from post-incident trauma and were under medication. Some are facing various sorts of health problems and taking medicines.

The passenger bus (Na 2 Kha 3245) coming to Naryangadh from Ayodhyapuri of Madi had come under an ambush of the then rebelling force near the Bandarmudhe Stream on June 6, 2005.

The Madi Municipality has already elected local representatives through the May 14 local-level elections and Thakur Dhakal who had been with the Rastriya Janamorcha at the time of Bandarmudhe incident has been elected the Municipality through the CPN (MC) ticket.

In his personal views, the incident was the outcome of injustice from both sides. He said he was committed to making all elaborative measures to ensure justice to the victims in a friendly atmosphere as he believed that the problem should be settled calmly instead of recalling the nightmare frequently.