Govt mum on Sunsari VDC secys’ plight

Itahari, July 5:

No efforts have been made to bring back 49 VDC secretaries of Sunsari district, who moved to the district headquarters almost three weeks ago, citing insecurity and other problems.

The secretaries of 49 VDCs shifted to the district headquarters after the Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha shot and wounded the secretary of Harinagara VDC, Suresh Kafle, on June 13.

They have been discharging their duties from tents on the premises of the district development committee office after the local administration assured them of security. However, the president of the VDC Secretaries’ Rights Protection Centre in Sunsari, Balram Dhakal, said, “The local administration has neither initiated any move to ensure our security nor has it made efforts to send us back to villages.” The VDC secretaries have been demanding an end to extortion, security for them, immediate appointment of VDC chairmen and action against criminals.

According to Dhakal, VDC secretaries will launch decisive protest programmes if their demands are not met by mid-July. Saying that relevant reports published in newspapers have curbed extortion threats, he said, “There is no environment to return to the villages. Except giving assurances, the administration has done nothing.” He said that plans are afoot to set up a centre for VDC secretaries near the district headquarters to discharge official duties.

LDO of Sunsari Guru Prasad Subedi said it was not possible to send VDC secretaries to villages due to insecurity. He said preparations are underway to open stations south of the East-West highway for serving the people. “I will discuss the matter with the CDO. Following the discussions, the VDC secretaries will be sent to secure stations. However, VDC secretaries north of the highway will have to go back to their respective VDCs,” he said.

Sunsari CDO Prem Narayan Sharma said security will be ensured once VDC secretaries leave for villages.