Dolorous Dashain for Maoist-displaced people

Phidim, September 27:

Many people, displaced due to the Maoist-government conflict from different parts of Panchthar district, have not been able to return home for this year’s Dashain festival.

Although the Maoists have been urging displaced people to return to their villages, the displaced are unable to do so, as the Maoists have not returned all their property.

“It is difficult for us to go back home as the Maoists still have not returned our property including money, jewellery and utensils,” Chairman of the Maoist Victims’ Association, Panchthar, Bil Bahadur Thamsuhang said.

The Maoists had urged some 300 persons belonging to 105 displaced families from different VDCs of the district to return to their homes in the month of Shrawan. In a statement, the Maoists had also promised that seized houses and land of the locals would be returned.

Seven families, which were also displaced from Panchthar for going against the Maoist war and killing Maoist cadres won’t be re-established, the Maoist statement had added.

“The Maoists have told us to return home, but we don’t know what happened to our utensils, furniture and clothes. What will we do in our empty homes?” Tara Kerung of Memeng-2 said.

Jeewan Kumar Rai of Prangbung-2 has similar complaints. Rai was made to leave the village just because he was elected ward chairman on a Nepali Congress ticket in the local elections. Rai’s family of five has been living in the district headquarters since then. “The Maoists took all our belongings including food grain and cattle. We don’t have new clothes to wear in Dashain and Tihar. How can we live in an empty house, and how do we feed our children?” Rai asked.

Meanwhile, Maoist district member Akash said the CPN-Maoist would be responsible for providing security to all those returning home as the party had already decided to return all captured houses and land. The families of only three persons — Durga Koirala of Tharpu-4, Gopal Neupane of Nangin-3 and Tanka Oli of Memenk-4 — have returned to their homes so far.