Displaced folk returning home in thousands

Dipayal, May 2 :

Thousands of youths of remote hilly districts of the far and mid-western regions, who had left for India to look for jobs and security, have begun returning home following the announcement of a ceasefire by the rebels.

The homeward-bound youngsters said they were compelled to flee to India to evade being taken by the Maoists for their campaigns.

A large number of people from Humla, Mugu, Kalikot, Bajhang, the districts of Bajura, Achham, Baitadi, Doti and Dadeldhura can be seen heading home via the Bhullaghat area of Baitadi and Gaddachowki of Kanchanpur daily. The returnees hope the Maoists will join the mainstream politics.

Jay Bahadur Bista of Bistbada, Humla, said he was returning home after a decade from Shimla . “In India, I used to wish for peace so that I could return home,” he said.

I have returned home, hoping that the peoples’ movement would help resolve the crisis, he said.

Youths of these hilly districts go to Kumau, Gadhwal, Simla, Mumbai and Delhi to look for work. Dev Thapa, of Pandusen village development committee, Bajura, said he stayed in Pithauragadh of India with his family members for three years after the Maoists forced his children to participate in their campaigns.

“I returned to Nepal after hearing about peoples’ triumph and the declaration of a ceasefire by the Maoists,” the youngster from the far-western district further said.

Not all people are assured, however. Jay Singh Bhul, of Siudi village development committee of Achham district, said the political parties should restore peace by holding talks with the Maoists.

“Hopefully, people won’t have to be displaced from their motherland to save their lives,” Bhul said. Chairman of the Human Rights and Public Service Centre (Doti) Deepak Singh said the parties must create a favourable environment by restoring peace so that these people won’t have to flee their homeland.