5,000 voters flee to India

Mahottari, February 5:

At least 5,000 voters fled to India yesterday and today following a rumour about possible clashes during the municipal polls. Most of them have left for Bihar to meet their relatives. The buses that used to leave every hour are now available every five minutes.

A large number of people were seen heading to Bhittamod on foot, bicycles or rickshaws due to the Maoist called bandh today. The bus park in Bhittamod was overcrowded.

Lalbabu Shah of Jaleshwor-5 said: “My wife is pregnant. It is risky here. Who can guarantee that there will not be explosions?” In most of the houses in Ward Numbers 1 and 6, only one male member has stayed to look after the house.

Even vice-chairman of the District Development Committee, Mishri Giri, who never misses to identify himself as a royalist, has left Jaleshwor. DDC sources said some area members have gone to their in-laws’ houses while others have gone to India.

Sixty-five-year-old Nathuni Shah of Sahujipatti said,

“We are under pressure. Political parties will be annoyed with us if we leave. Security personnel will press us to vote if we don’t.”

Meanwhile, our Janakpur correspondent said dozens of businessmen left for India visit taking the benefit of the weeklong Nepal bandh called by the Maoists to foil the municipal polls slated for February 8.

Most businessmen from Janakpur, Dhanusha, Sank-huwa and Mahendranagar have left for India trip due to which there has been a scarcity of Indian currency.

Financial institutions located in Mahendranagar have been shifted to the district headquarters due to security reasons. The businessmen have not shown any interest in casting their votes in the municipal polls, so they have left for India, said a businessman. They will stay in India during the weeklong bandh.