Candidates’ kin running from pillar to post for their whereabouts

Bardiya, February 6:

Family members of the candidates in Gulariya municipality elected unopposed are in the dark about the latter’s whereabouts.

The buzz is that the candidates were packed off to India for security reasons. But none, including security sources, the administration and election commission has informed candidates’ family members about their location or condition, locals said.

Questing kin of the candidates are busy banging on the gates of the base security camp and haunting the houses of local politicians for information about these candidates. Relatives are also accusing the security personnel of forcing the candidates to file their nomination.

Ramadevi Bhujel, wife of Nanhu Ram Bhujel, unopposed elected ward chairman of Gulariya-6 said she is unaware of her husband’s location or condition for the past ten days.

“My husband was asleep at home. Some people came and forced him to sign the nomination form,” she said, adding: “On January 28, they hustled him off in a vehicle.”

“We began searching for him as I did not see him at the army base camp when I went there with food for him,” said Yogendra, Nanhu’s son, adding: “Police and administrative sources claim they have no idea of his whereabouts.”

Ramadevi has filed applications in the district court and with the security agencies, requesting that Nanhu be produced.

The family of Ghan Shyam Baishya, unopposed elected ward number-8 chairman of the municipality is in the same boat. His wife Laxmi said he is missing since 11 days. Biashya has alreay been marked by the Maoists, said Laxmi. She wept, saying: “My husband agreed to be a candidate under duress and without our consent. He was in the army base camp till some days ago. But now we are ignorant of his whereabouts.”

Wife of Kamal Raj Poudel, unopposed elected deputy mayor of the municipality said she did not know her husband’s whereabouts. She said: “He went saying he had to go Nepalgunj but we don’t where he actually is.”

“For security reason the candidates were taken to the army camp for a week. As the Maoists frequently threatened to kill them, they were taken to India,” said security sources.

According to sources, 20 unopposed elected candidates, including the mayor and deputy mayor were taken to Murtiya on February 1 in a DDC vehicle.

Bardiya District Development president Pramod Bikram Rana and vice-president Nasaruddin Sheikh have left for Baharaich in India.

Gopal Pathak, a non-gazetted officer in Gulariya municipality, said: “I don’t know the whereabouts of the candidates. I haven’t seen them.”

Bardiya Chief District Officer Bimal Prasad Dhakal said: “All the elected unopposed candidates were sent to the municipality to initiate work. But where they went, I am in the dark about that myself.”