Maoists drive out 200 villagers

Himalayan News Service

Phidim, April 16:

Two hundred villagers were displaced when Maoists locked out 34 houses in Ranitar VDC adjoining Phidim, the headquarters of Panchthar district. Victims said that the Maoists started the drive last Sunday without any prior notice. “They just asked us to move out of our houses.” Most of the victims belong to the Gurung, Tamang and Rai communities. Lal Bahadur Tamang of Ranitar-5 who arrived today in Phidim after the Maoists locked out his house on Friday, said, “We were forced to come to the headquarters after Maoists warned all the villagers having family members in army or police service against returning.” The victims said about 200 locals of 34 houses at wards number 2, 5, 6 and 8 including Khadga Bahadur Tamang and Narayan Gurung of Ranitar-5, Birkha Bahadur Tamang of Ranitar-2 have been left stranded by the Maoist action. Lal Maya Tamang, 52 who also arrived in Phidim with her six family members, said, “They locked my house. I have small children. I cannot even rent a room as I have no money.” She said the Maoists locked her out after they learning that her son had recently joined the army. According to her, the rebels also threw out a woman of Ranitar-6 who had given birth only five days ago as her husband was in police service.