Migrant workers fleeced at Rupadiya border

Nepalgunj, September 28

Nepali migrant workers returning home from different Indian cities to celebrate Dashain with their loved ones are reportedly facing unwarranted issues created by Indian police personnel, who are bent on extorting money from them.

Each day, during this festive season, more than 2,000 migrant workers cross the Rupadiya border.

Returning migrant workers have lodged complaints that police charge amounts ranging from IRs 50 to IRs 1,000 and also cite the fee as a tax surcharge for bringing gifts meant for family members.

Bishnu Bhandari of Bhandari Wada from Jumla, and rickshaw puller Sisaram BK at the border point, both victims, lamented, “Indian police at the border demand money from us forcefully and if we do not comply, a beating follows until we submit.”

Gadsik BK, who came with Bhandari, added that he had handed over IRs 200 to the Indian police to get into the country via  Rupadiya.

Dipak Shahi of Dailkeh Kuchapani said that he had paid IRs 500 to the Indian police for bringing goods for his family at the Rupadiya border. “I had bought the goods from the Indian market for my family members, thinking it would save me some money, but the Indian police at the border made me to pay more for the goods when I was leaving India,” Shahi grumbled.

Despite the blatant illegal extortion, till date, nothing has been done to end the plight of migrant workers by the Nepali government. This has causing much discontent among the long-suffering migrant workers.

A local of Langthi VDC of Salyan, Shiba Devkota, who returned home from Shimla, complained that he had to pay thrice as much to the Indian police when he travelled from Shimlapahad to Rupadiya border.

“I had no choice but to pay IRs 2,000 to the Indian police. If we do not, it becomes difficult to return home safely”, Devkota added.

Inspector Pramod Kumar Kshetry at Area Police Post  Jamunaha said that preparations were under way to hold discussions to resolve this issue.

While Rupadiya has been highlighted in this case, this particular border point is just a tip of the iceberg. Thousands of migrant workers are being extorted from at Kanchanpur’s Banbasha and Dhangadi’s Gauriphanta border points every day.