46 conflict-hit head home from Banke

Nepalgunj, October 6:

Forty-six persons, who had been displaced from their home district of Jumla due to the decade-long armed conflict, headed home today.

These people, who are members of 11 households in Kalikakhet, had been living in different parts of Banke district.

“We are happy to be returning home at a time when Dashain is round the corner, but worries grip us when we think of the condition of our house,” Sunidha Shahi, who was returning home from Dhambojhi, said.

The displaced said they are returning home after staying in Banke for four years. They said they will rebuild their dilapidated houses and start life afresh.

Nineteen out of the 46 displaced are children.

The children expressed happiness over the fact that they will be able to celebrate Dashain in their village this year. Some of the children have not even seen their village as they were born in Banke.

Deep Bahadur Shahi thanked the organisations that are helping them with their return. “ We thank various organisations, including the Maoists, as they have helped us return home,” he said. “I will be able to look after my family in the village with the money I earned in India.”

The displaced demanded that the government take up the task of educating their children and accused it of doing nothing to facilitate their return to their village. The Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC) has taken the initiatives for sending the displaced back home.

“They will go to Surkhet from Nepalgunj by bus. From Surkhet, they

will board planes to Jumla,” INSEC regional coordinator Bhola Mahat said. Speaking at a programme organised to bid farewell to the returnees, Banke district SP Uttam Karki said the police administration will help in the return of the displaced.

Vice-president of the Banke chapter of the FNJ Jhalak Gaire and administrative officer of Banke DAO Hari Pyakurel also spoke on the occasion.