Freed students handed over to guardians

Himalayan News Service

Pokhara, July 1:

Human rights activists this morning handed over the students of the Kalika Secondary School, who were freed by the Maoists yesterday, to their guardians and the headmaster of the school, Ganga Bahadur Pun. The guardians had reached the INSEC office early in the morning up-on hearing the release of their kin at Talbesi of Rupakot, Kaski. They were brought to the office at around 10 o’clock last night. One of the guardians Maya Baniya, said: “I am very happy to see my son back.” Another guardian, Ujeli of Tiklad, was also happy to have her daughter back but the fear of re-abduction is worrying her. Of the 11 students abducted, Bhagwati Chhetri, a student of grade 9, was sent back to her home after she fell sick on June 25.

Sharmila Baniya, Sarita Baniya, Samikshya Basnet, Anita Baniya and Manju Baniya of grade 9, Keshav Giri, Dinesh Baniya and Basant Dhakal of grade 10, and Nava Raj Baniya and Dilli Ram Bhattarai, who appeared in the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examination this year, were all released yesterday. Those two students cleared the SLC examination. The Maoists kept us in a house some distance from Begnas Gaun on the first day and from the second day, we were forced to walk two hours through various places in Kaski and Parbat, Nava Raj, one of the released students, said. They had been taken from their school in the pretext of participating in a programme and the abductors had told them they would be freed soon. We were served with good food and they also gave us fruits once a week. They also arranged for our bath, they said. Samikshya Basnet said they were also given clothes to change.