Peace makes Nepalis flock home in droves

Nepalgunj, October 18:

More than 60,000 Nepalis, who had been displaced to neighbouring India for security reasons during the conflict period, have returned to Nepal via Nepalgunj transit point after the restoration of democracy in the country.

Some 25,000 Nepalis returned from India via Nepalgunj transit in the month of Ashwin alone, police personnel at the Jamunaha police post on the Nepal-India border said. Only about 2500 persons went to India for work in the month of Ashwin. Only eight persons left for India on Ashwin 15 and 16. The police personnel said the number of Nepalis leaving for India after the restoration of democracy was significantly less.

One Chhatra Bahadur Shah of Salyan Malta, who is one of those returning home, said, “I returned after hearing that peace has restored in the country. Otherwise, it would not have been possible to return to my village.” He added that he would never leave the country again if the situation remains normal. “We left our village not because there wasn’t enough to eat but for safety reasons,” he added.

Roshan Dhakal of Morang’s Amardaha, who returned home via Nepalgunj, said most of the Nepali youth would not leave if peace and employment was ensured in their own country. Hari Basnet of Salyan said he returned after hearing that peace has restored in the villages.

Sub-Inspector at the Jamunaha police post, Chhabi Rana, said there was a significant increase in the number of Nepalis returning to Nepal after the restoration of democracy. He added that it was also because of the major Nepali festivals like Dashain and Tihar. On an average, some 1000 Nepalis are returning home via Nepalgunj transit point daily, Rana said.

According to the statistics of the Jamunaha police post, 9,743 persons returned to Nepal in the month of Jestha while 8,071 returned in Asadh, 7,442 returned in Shrawan and 11,658 returned in the month of Bhadra. Thousands of Nepalis from the hilly districts of western Nepal, Gulmi, Palpa and Syangja had left the country via Nepalgunj after the start of the armed conflict in Nepal. Up to 2000 persons had left the country for India in a single day during the conflict, according to the police post’s statistics.