Maoist victim’s family cries govt apathy

Kalikot, December 11:

The family of journalist Nawaraj Sharma (Basanta), who was killed by the Maoists six years ago, has fallen into the crisis of livelihood due to the government’s apathy to support them.

The Maoists, on the charge of spying and working against their party and so-called People’s Government, had abducted Sharma on April 22, 2002 and killed him after 20 days at Potmara of Mumra VDC.

Deceased journo Sharma, who was the first president of Kalikot chapter of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), editor of the local Kadam weekly and a teacher at a government primary school, is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son.

Sharma’s wife Rita, 35, along with her children sometimes visit her maternal home in Kailali district and have knocked the doors of the Kalikot District Administration office many times hoping to get relief and assistance from the government.

“The agricultural production is not enough to sustain my family round the year. As there is nobody to earn bread in the family, I am under a difficult situation,” she said. “I have frequently served my children with boiled curry due to the lack of cooking oil,” she said, “I have heard about the non-government organisations working for the welfare of the poor and needy children, however, no such organisation has lent its hands to us.”

“The government admitted my daughter Sangeeta, 11, in an orphanage along with other Maoist victim children in Dhangadi to provide them education. However, then Minster for Women, Children and Social Welfare Khadga Bahadur Bishwokarma from the CPN-Maoist directed to take out the children from the orphanage two years ago,” Rita said.

“Providing education to my children has become a far cry while I am hardly earning bread for them,” she said in a feeble voice.

“The government has not provided single penny as relief to my family,” she said, adding, “Only the Federation of Nepalese Journalists helped us with the fund of Rs 60,000.”

Then Kangaroo government of the Maoists restricted her to go to the district headquarters Manma.

She, however, sneaked secretly into Kailali with her son Jeevan, 7, five years ago and led a displaced life. Her name was not included in the list of the 252 displaced families who received the relief fund last year.

“She also went to the district headquarters, expecting to get relief last year but she had to return back empty handed,” said Kali Bahadur Malla, secretary of the FNJ district chapter.

The law of the country provisions right to get pension after her husband’s death. “Even the monthly salaries of my husband to be paid then has not been given to me yet,” she said, sobbing.

Late Sharma’s name has been enlisted in the deceased in DAO. “Once the government makes decision to provide relief to the families of those killed during the insurgency, the relief will be provided to Rita,” Kalikot CDO, Sitaram Karki said, adding, “We have to follow the necessary procedures.” But he did not divulge details when the relief fund would be released to helpless Rita.