Kin of Nar victims on warpath

POKHARA: The seven Gorkha villagers had left their homes on May 31, hoping to return with bags full of prized herb of yarsagumba. But, as luck would have it, they never made it to their homes.

Now, the aggrieved family members, after they are denied justice and compensation even after reaching from pillar to post, have warned that they would begin protests.

The residents of Nar village in Manang had murdered the seven youths on June 10. Those murdered are Bir Bahadur Gurung, Gyan Bahadur Gurung, Kanchha Gurung, Kami Gurung, Sobar Gurung, Aaitaram Gurung and Dhruba Gurung of Kerauja.

Maite Gurung, 60, who lost his two sons -- Bir Bahdur and Gyan Bahadur lamented as he has to shoulder the responsibility of raising two of the orphaned grandchildren. "Future of the two kids is in the hands of government now," Gurung said.

Buddhi Gurung, who has been studying in Kathmandu, said his study has been hampered after his sole bread winner brother died in the incident. "My brother had left home with some packet of noodles and beaten rice. I had hoped he would return with enough herbs to get enough money but he never did," he said.

Amar Tamu, UCPN-Maoist CA member from Gorkha Constituency 3, charged that hands of ACAP officials, different political party leaders and activists, Lamas of local monasteries and the villagers were found guilty in the murder.

After turning up at the main office of Annapurna Conservation Area Camp in Pokhara two days ago, the victims' relatives also blamed the office for the murder. They warned of removing the unit office of the ACAP in case their demands were not taken seriously.

Relatives of the deceased also accused the government of attempting to dismiss the incident by providing meager amount of Rs 20, 000 each as compensation against what was promised as Rs 3 lakhs to each family.

President of Nar Carnage Probe Joint Struggle Committee Kulman Gurung warned that they would launch strong protest in case their demands were not addressed within a week.

Meanwhile, the relatives of the deceased called on Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Dipak Bohara and handed him over a memorandum in Pokhara recently.

They demanded life imprisonment to the guilty of Nar carnage, one million rupees as compensation to each family of the deceased youths, provide free education to the children of the deceased, among others. In the wake of the murder, the Manang police had arrested some local people of Nar on murder charge.