Refugees defer drive to return home

Jhapa, July 15:

Bhutanese refugees have suspended their campaign to return home till the presidential election in India comes to a close.

The decision was made at a meeting of the National Front for Democracy Bhutan (NFD) at Kakarvitta town in Jhapa district today.

A refugee died during the long march of the campaign on May 28, 29 and 30, 2007 in a clash with Indian security personnel on the Mechi bridge across the Nepal-India border.

After that, the campaign came to a halt for 15 days following discussions among the Jhapa chief district officer, the district magistrate of West Bengal state and Bhutanese refugees.

The NFD agreed to extend it further by a month after a positive signal from India. The suspension of the return-home drive was to end today and the drive would have been resumed but with the NFD decision today, there’s yet another month to go.

Meanwhile, India has boosted security arrangements along the border and deployed SSB forces from Ilam’s Pashupatinagar to Jhapa’s Bhadrapur.