More Nepalis being extorted in Indian border areas

DHANGADHI: With the increasing number of Nepali migrant workers returning home for Dashain festival, the cases of Nepalis being extorted and abused by the Indian Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) has increased in the Indo-Nepal border areas.

The Nepalis returning home from various custom points in the Indo-Nepal border have complaint of having to pay their hard earned money to the SSB personnel and custom officials.

Hundreds of Nepalis are returning to Nepal from the Banbasa and Gauriphanta in the far-western border everyday.

“Not only officials at the border point, but also the vehicle drivers and outright thugs threaten us and extort our money,” they complained.

“SSB personnel extorted Rs 15,000 near Banbasa Bridge. When I reported the incident to police in Kanchanpur, they failed to take any action and return me the money,” said Ubje Pariyar of the district.

It has been learned that Pariyar was stranded after the incident as he had no money where his relatives had to come to take him back home.

The police, however, have been able to return Rs 50, which the Indian police had snatched from Narendra BK of Darchula while he was returning Nepal from Bareli in India for the festival, said Surendra Dev Bhatt, constable at the help desk at the Indo-Nepal border point.“BK had complaint of the issue,” added Bhatt.

The government has set up help desks in the border area to minimise the cases of extortion and abuse during the festivals.

“Most of the victims refrain from complaining at the help desk. They pay the money but do not complain,” informed Bhatt.

“Only one person had complained t us in a span of one week. On the basis of the complain filed, we returned the Rs 50,” he added.

“I only had two bags when they asked me money. Instead of standing there and explaining, I felt easy to give them money so I paid off INR 100 to them,” said Bishwa Raj Upadhyay.

The security officials from both the countries hold a meeting every year to discuss the issue, committing to manage the security at border areas.

The Nepalis returning home urged the government to ensure security for safe returning.

“The higher authorities from Indian side say that they will take action against those who extort the money if the victims come with a proof,” said District Administration Officer Govinda Prasad Rijal.

He further urged the victims to file complain at the help desk.