Displaced folk languishing in Taplejung district HQ

Taplejung, January 27:

Displaced people are still living in the district headquarters though the Maoists have returned some of their grabbed property.

The displaced said they returned to the district headquarters from their villages even after the Maoists returned their houses as it was impossible to live in the decrepit houses and glean a living off barren land. The displaced, who have been working in stone-crushing factories in the district headquarters, said the Maoists returned only empty houses and land but they did not return cash, furniture, household goods or cattle.

Sixty-eight-year-old Pema Sherpa of Santhakra VDC-6 said he returned to the district headquarters as there was nothing left in his house.

Phuduki Sherpa of Lingtep has also been living in the district headquarters. She said she didn’t return to her village as it is easier to earn more money in the district headquarters. She has been working in a stone crushing factory to sustain her family.

She claimed she earns Rs 300 daily. Phuti Sherpa of Lelep said it was easier for her to crush stones than to start all over again in her village.

Most of those, who displaced to other places outside the district such as Dharan and Kathmandu, have not even returned to claim their property, the Conflict Victims’ Association-Taplejung said. Around 30 families, who were displaced to places outside the district, have not returned to their villages, Tek Nath Adhikari of the association said.

The displaced, who are now engaged in different occupations in the district headquarters, are not able to return to their villages, Prem Prasad Adhikari of Pedang VDC said.

Some 150 of 246 displaced families in Taplejung have returned to their villages while some more families are in the process of returning, the Peace Network-Taplejung said.

However, around 50 per cent of those who returned to their villages, have come back to the district headquarters.