Maoist fear keeps students at home

Banke, August 28:

After the killing of five Maoists, including a district-level leader, by a vigilante group in Banke on August 13, children in Katkuiya and the surrounding areas have not been able to go to schools due to fear of Maoist retribution any time. The Nepal National Primary School has been closed from the next day after the incident. “We are not sending our children to schools due to the fear of Maoists. If the Maoists detonate bombs in the school, the children will be the victims,” said a local Nakku Khaa, adding: “It is difficult to send theThough the teachers had decided to resume the classes a few days after the clash, they closed the school again as the environment could not improve with rumours of Maoist retribution doing the rounds. The students are being deprived of their right to education due to the fear of another clash between the Maoists and the vigilante group.

Bahalim Sekh, a Grade III student in the school, said he could not go to school due to fear. He said, “Everybody tells us not to go to school, ‘Maoists can launch an attack any time, they can kill you’.” Two weeks have passed since the incident, but nobody has taken an initiative to reopen the school. Even, Madarassas have been affected. According Musibar Sekh, a teacher at a Madarassa, students are not interested in going to schools due to the fear of Maoists.”

We have been going door to door to call the students to return to school.” The August 13 clash has made a deep impact on the kids’ minds, Sekh said. The formation of the vigilante group complicated the situation, but no-one has tried to solve the problem, locals said.