Displaced families of Kapilvastu set to return

Kapilvastu, May 22:

Hundreds of families in Kapilvastu district who had left home due to the Maoist insurgency are preparing to return home following the announcement of ceasefire by both the government and the Maoists.

They were displaced from the district due to excesses of the Maoists and retaliatory groups.

In February 2005, locals began to move away from their homes leaving their property behind after the Maoists and retaliatory groups fought with each other in Shivpur, Ganeshpur, Khururiya, Gugauli VDCs of the district. About 603 locals of the region had been homeless after irate anti-Maoist mob torched their houses. Twenty-four Maoists and their supporters and six civilians lost their lives in the incident.

The Maoists and retaliatory groups had been engaged in violent action against each other for a week from February 17. A unified security base camp was set up in Ganeshpur to avert further clashes. A local of Khururiya VDC 8, Narabhupal Ghimire, said the displaced people are now positive about the situation after the restoration of peace following a ceasefire between the government and Maoists. The displaced are now living in India’s Assam, Mumbai, and in neighbouring Rupandehi district while some others are living as refugees in the district headquarters. Ghimire said Krishna Aryal, Laxmi Pandey, Baburam Parajuli, Narayan Kalwar, Shanker Kalwar, Kumar Bhattarai of his area have contacted him.

Likewise, Gorakhnath Kalwar and Pradhan Kalwar of Khururiya 7 have made contacts from India and Than Prasad Koirala and Chandra Kant Koirala of the same area telephoned from Rupandehi, said a local Bed Bahadur Aryal.

According to a local Narayan Prasad Basyal, at least 45 persons displaced from Khururiya VDC 5 and 9 are still out of contact. Krishna Prasad Bhandari, a local, said: “The government needs to do its best to make conducive environment for restoring permanent peace in the country.”

Violent clashes in Khururiya, Purushottampur, Lalpur, Shivpur, Ganeshpur, Patyardeshya and Chanai VDCs had displaced nearly 4000 civilians, said the locals. One thousand families had registered complaints with the Kapilvastu District Administration Office and demanded compensation. Some of them received some financial help, locals said.

Lok Bahadur Malla, 65, of Shivpur, who was injured in a clash between the Maoists

and a retaliatory group, recalls a difficult day: “They came and told me you are a Maoist;

show us where have you hidden bombs. They beat me up.

My house was torched. Later I fell unconscious. When I regained consciousness, I was in the hospital.”

How he happily says, “Everyone will return home if peace is restored.”