Maoists seek fees from six displaced persons

Itahari, November 11:

The Maoists have directed six displaced persons of Sunsari district to cough up Rs 1,00,000 altogether as “rehabilitation fees” if they want to return home.

“For our safe return and to live in our homes freely, the Maoists have demanded Rs 1,00,000 from us,” said Gauri Shrestha of Bharaul-3, Bange, in Sunsari. “We are trying to rustle up the cash to give it to the Maoists for our return,” Gauri said.

Maoist Sunsari secretary Rojina said the cash was demanded for treatment of a Maoist cadre Samundra.

Samundra was injured in a clash between the Maoists and locals on October 23 on the issue of gambling. After he was injured, the Maoists listed six locals as guilty persons. Maoist cadres also seized motorbikes and mobile sets from them.

During a street corner meeting at Bange Bazaar on October 24, the Maoists ordered the six to contact the Maoist party office within 15 days. The Maoists declared Parbat Shrestha, Mani Rai, Nabin Rai, Jabin Rai and two other locals criminals. Thereafter, the six had to leave the village.

The six kept urging human rights activists and the Sunsari civil society monitoring committee to help them return to their village. At the initiative of the monitoring committee, the Biratnagar-based regional office of the OHCHR visited the site and also urged the Maoists to relent.