Injured recount Parbat clash

Suman Dahal

Kushma (Parbat), January 27:

Civilians, who were caught in a clash between the Maoists and security personnel at Bhyaplekhola, Parbat, yesterday said they would not have been alive if they had not been injured.

“Had we not been injured, we might never have been alive,” said Bishnu Hamal, who was caught in a clash. Hamal, a resident of Pakhapani, Parbat, was travelling on a truck when the security vehicle just in front of his truck was ambushed.

“It had been hardly two minutes when the traffic stopped as there was a powerful blast,” Hamal recalls.

Shyam Bahadur Chhetri of Kaski fainted after the explosion. “I fell unconscious. I remained disoriented even after gaining consciousness. I don’t know how I reached a nearby shop,” Chhetri said from a bed in Parbat hospital.

A war veteran who fought in the battle of Kargil six years back, Hamal and others jumped to a roadside drain to save themselves from a rain of bullets.

Among them was a 71-year-old Lal Bahadur Uchai of Lankhu Deurali-6. “The young men could get off the truck quickly but I could not run as a bullet hit me.” But Hamal said Uchai was hit later by socket bomb splinters. “As I was lying in the drain, a socket bomb landed on my body,” Hamal said. He managed to throw it away before it went off. “But my hand was injured when another bomb went off,” Hamal said, adding that splinters had injured Uchai’s leg and hand.