Madhes agitation injured left in a lurch

Birgunj, January 18

As the Madhes agitation is yet to end after months, and with both the government and the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front concerned about their own affairs, the condition of people injured during the agitation is getting worse.

Most of them have complained of the gross apathy of both the state and the agitating sides. “Months after I was shot at during the agitation, neither the government nor the agitating parties are serious about my plight,” said Santalal Yadav of Birgunj.

The resident of Birgunj sub-metropolis-19 was injured in police firing on August 22.

Having been treated at the Birgunj-based Narayani Sub-regional Hospital for 24 days, he was sent home and is resting at home presently.

“As I was disabled, I always stayed away from agitation and the likes but on that fateful day I felt there was going to be a clash between police and the agitators and was slipping away home, when a bullet hit me on my back,” Yadav recounted adding,“I lost my left leg in a road accident about three years ago, and now that I’m bed-ridden, I’ve become a burden of sorts for my family.”

Though we didn’t have to pay for some check-ups and medicines, still around 25,000 rupees has been spent for my treatment, which has caused great worry to myself and my family as to how we will pay back the amount, said the once-upon-a-time-trader who sold various grocery items on his cycle to small shopkeepers here and there in the city.

“There is no income and my daughter’s wedding is on the cards. How will I manage?” asked the 45-year-old father.

Meanwhile, following a newspaper report on Santalal’s plight, a six-member committee has been formed with the locals’ initiative to support him. The committee has also provided him 8,000 rupees as fund to resume his business.

“This is the first phase support; we will provide him the next relief amount later,” said Krishnachandra Prasad Sah, coordinator of the Madhes Relief Fund.

Seven persons, including an Indian national have lost their lives in Birgunj during the Madhes agitation.

Similarly, dozens of others have been injured during the months-long agitation and most of them say they are ignored by both the state and the agitating forces.