Nawalparasi aftermath: Stench, fear of clashes dog locals

Nawalparasi, February 10:

Fear of yet another clash between security forces and the Maoists, accompanied by foul smell coming from bodies of fallen security men, have compelled the locals of Ramwapur and Damodarkunda villages to take refuge in neighbouring villages of Turiya and Sunwal Chauraha, member of the Sunwal sub-branch of the Nepal Red Cross Society, Sanjay Shrestha, said today.

The body of a police constable, who was killed in a clash between the Maoists and security forces yesterday, had been lying in front of the Rambapur-based house of Shova Kanta Neupane till this evening.

Fearful of getting caught in a crossfire between the Maoists and the security forces, the family members had not opened their doors till late in the evening.

Stench emanating from the decaying body has affected the locals.

“Because of the stench, we went to the house of a relative in a neighbouring village for lunch,” Shyam Prasad Neupane, a neighbour of Shovakant, said.

Yam Nath Dhakal of Rambapur said he too is taking refuge at his relative’s home in neighbouring village because of the flies covering the body of a dead army man.

“Villagers have not cooked meals in their houses since last evening,” Dhakal said.

Laxmi Oil Suppliers, where two bodies of two security men are lying, has been closed too.

A day after the attack, schools and shops remain shut, telephones are not humming and power outage continues in the villages.

Even as the Butwal-based 22 number Brigade of the Royal Nepali Army said army men had been sent to collect the bodies, locals said the team had not arrived at the sites.

A team led by Nawalparasi branch chairman of the Nepal Red Cross Society, Radha Pradhan, inspected the clash sites.

Issuing a joint statement, eight human rights organisations said security forces were found to have forcibly used private vehicles during the clashes and hid behind the houses of civilians during the clashes.

The team also criticised the state for not collecting dead bodies of 15 security personnel from the site. Socket and grenade bombs lie strewn along the Mahendra Highway, it said.

Following the clashes yesterday, vehicular movement along the Butwal-Narayangarh section of the Mahendra Highway has come to a halt. Blasts have damaged the Butwal-Sunwal section of the highway.