Donation drive terrorises traders in west

RUPANDEHI: Businessmen in Bhairahawa and Butwal are a terrified lot these days because of the donation drive launched by previously unheard Tarai Mukti Army (Silent Killers).

The criminal group first sends letters via post and asks the businessmen over phone to hand over the donation to its cadres at Sunauli along the Nepal-India border. Such letters have been sent to the businessmen who are running shops at different places in Butwal and Bhairahawa. “About 80 per cent of the shopkeepers have received such letters. But, as far as I know, no one has submitted donation so far,” a businessman told this scribe, preferring anonymity.

“You are requested to provide us Rs 20 lakh to wage an armed war against the policy against the integrity of Tarai,” the letter sent to the businessmen states.

The businessmen regretted that the they did not even have the annual transaction worth Rs 20 million.

“I heard the name of this organisation for the first time,” Rajendra Gupta, central member of Sadbhawana Party, said. He also said the former Maoist sympathisers might have involved in the act.

The letters bear the signature of Sijak, central coordinatior of the Tarai Mukti Army. According to the letterhead, the organisation was established in 2006.

Meanwhile, the western regional chapter of Nepal Petroleum Products’ Dealers Association, has said that an unidentified Tarai-based organisation have been terrifying them.

According to a source, almost all the petrol pumps operating in Nawalparasi submitted their donation to the unidentified group at Maheshpur and Thutibari along the Nepal-India border.

Chairman of Siddharthnagar Chamber of Commerce and Industries said the businessmen had become tired of receiving such calls every day.

It is learnt that the persons speaking on the phone introduce themselves as the activists of Madhesi Tigers and Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha-Goit.