Life limping back to normal in Sunwal

Rupandehi, February 11:

Life at the Sunwal area is slowly returning to normal after a deadly clash between the security forces and the Maoists that left 21 people dead on Thursday night.

Terrified locals sighed relief after the security forces collected fourteen bodies of security personnel from the clash site last night.

The shops here opened today and the locals who had taken refuge at neighbouring Turiya and Sunwal Chauraha villages returned to their homes and carried on with their daily lives amidst fear of another clash.

Locals Shova Kant Neupane and Yam Nath Dhakal and the Laxmi Oil Suppliers at Rampur opened their houses after the bodies of security forces lying on their house compounds were taken away.

Life here has started returning to normal, owner of Nishan Petrol Pump, Ramwapur, Hira KC, said.

Meanwhile, security force has speeded up search for other bodies and bombs and explosives left by the Maoists in the fields and the jungle areas of Sunwal, Ramwapur and Damodar Kunda village.

Combat dresses lying strewn all over the places were collected but the burnt vehicles have not been removed yet.

The clash that ensued while the security forces were clearing the obstructions placed by Maoists at Butwal-Narayangarh road section under Mahendra Highway had claimed 21 lives including one student Sushmita Chapagain, sixteen security personnel and four Maoists.

Local residents said security forces and local civil society members are facing difficulties in their search for other bodies due to large amount of explosives left by Maoists and also due to the fear of a possible Maoist attack yet again. They suspected that there might be other bodies in the jungle area.

Three more Maoists’ dead bodies were recovered from Ghodaha jungle of Devdaha-7, Rupandehi today. Two of the bodies were in combat dresses while the other one was in plain clothes. The bodies had already decayed.

A clash had also occurred in the jungle of Ghodaha after the Maoists attacked security forces deployed from Butwal to help in Sunwal clash on Thursday.

Two bodies of security forces were collected from the jungle on Friday, eyewitnesses said.

The Royal Nepalese Army No 22 Brigade said both sides suffered heavy casualties, without furnishing details.

Bodies identified

NAWALPARASI: The district based security sources, on Saturday, said fourteen security forces killed in a clash with Maoists at Ramwapur on Thursday have been identified. Eight Royal Nepa-lese Army personnel killed in the clash were Nava Raj Pakal, Purna Bahadur Syangtan, Purushottam Dahal, Ashish Basnet, Hukum Thapa, Ganga Thapa, Ramesh Ghimire and Jay Bahadur Syangtan, while Armed Police Force personnel ASI Sunil Magar, head constable Shyam Kumar Yadav, assistant head constable Rajan Dhungana, constable of Unified Command Suman Shrestha and head constables of Civil Police Mithu Nepali and Ram Milan Shah were killed, the district based security source said, adding other security forces killed in the clash have not be identified yet. —HNS