Displaced Jumla families return home

Surkhet, August 5:

Eighteen families consisting of 62 individuals from Jumla, who were living a displaced life here due to the Maoist insurgency, left for home today after eight years.

A farewell programme was held for the families at the Surkhet airstrip prior to their return to Jumla. Padam Sharan Upadhyaya, living a displaced life for the last eight years, regretted that the Maoists had not changed their behaviour even after joining the government.

He said that it was because of their attitude that the return home took so long. “We have decided to forget the atrocities wreaked on us and return home at any cost,” he said.

Another displaced person Umakant Hamal recalled the bitter experiences he had at the hands of the Maoists and added that it was the duty of everyone to ensure that the constituent assembly (CA) poll was held successfully in a free and fair manner. “We had sworn never to have any contact with the Maoists when we were displaced. However, the situation has changed and if need be we will interact with them. We are ready for that.” He also accused the government and the VDCs of meting out step-motherly treatment to the displaced people.

Speaking on the occasion, Surkhet chief district officer Anil Kumar Pandey, Janaki Shah of the district women’s association and Khim Oli of INSEC thanked the organisations that arranged for the displaced people to return to Jumla.

Caritas Nepal and the ICRC arranged financial help for the displaced to return home. Caritas Nepal’s Nepalgunj regional chief told this daily that his group has helped 2,300 individuals from the central and far western regions return home.

CDO Pandey and district leaders of the seven political parties applied red tika on the foreheads of the returnees and wished them a safe journey home.