No end to ordeal of conflict-hit

Rukum, January 17:

Prasad Khadka, 61, a resident of Chunuwang-5 of Rukum, has sixteen mouths to feed with his earning as a porter.

“At this age, my suffering sees no end. I am compelled to work harder than ever,” Khadka shared.

His family was displaced from the village 12 years ago. The Maoists inflicted trouble on Khadka just because he was a Nepali Congress sympathiser. Prime Minister and Maoist chairman Prachanda has been paying lip-service to return seized land and property, while the old man is deprived of his property for over a decade.

“My back still aches,” he lamented, “I had to face numerous hardships.” Khadka said Maoists had severely beaten him before he was displaced from the village.

Following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord, the Maoists returned Khadka’s land. His property worth lakhs of rupees, including five houses, however, is yet to be returned.

Believing the Maoists’ call to return to the village, Khadka ventured to go to the village two years back. He was later forced to come back to the Rukum headquarters, Musikot, after the Maoists did not return his property. “I have no place to live as the Maoists had destructed my houses during the conflict,” Khadka said. “I have no money to construct a new house,” he regrets, adding, “The government must compensate me for this.”

He said his loans had piled up to Rs 1 million. “I took the loan to feed my family since I was displaced. I wonder how will I pay it back,” lamented Khadka.