Abductee's wife appeal for release

BIRATNAGAR: Even as chances for the release of her abducted husband are gradually waning, Anjana Pokharel, a mother of two children, sought help of journalists, human rights activists and others.

Organising a press meet here in Biratnager today, she appealed all to exert pressure on the authorities to secure safe release of her husband Shekhar Pokharel — a supervisor of Nepal Telecom Regional Directorate in Biratnagar.

Activists of Sanyukta Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha — an underground armed Tarai outfit — had abducted Pokharel from Sunsari’s Debangunj 26 days ago. The abductors had been asking Rs 5 million as ransom in the beginning and the family already provided Rs 1.2 million, the telecom source said. “The armed outfit cadres are still demanding Rs 1.8 million ransom.”

Flanked by her son Rahul (11) and daughter Reshma (14), Anjana said the kids had not gone to school ever since their father — the sole breadwinner of the family — was taken away. “Throughout the day what the kids do is to weep and ask the whereabouts of their father,” a sobbing Anjana said, adding that they were unable to pay the ransom.

Anjana also revealed that the abductors threatened to kill Pokharel in case the family failed to cough up the remaining amount.

Pokharel’s wife also chastised the police and administration for not involved to rescue her husband. However, chief of eastern regional police office Biratnagar, DIG Bhisma Prasain, claimed that they were nearing to the abductors.