Relief material meant for flood victims looted

Itahari, July 30:

Four quintals of beaten rice and bhuja meant for flood victims were looted by a group last.

The foodstuff had been brought for distribution to 80 flood victim families in Sunsari’s Narsingh-6, said chief district officer Prem Narayan Sharma.

An armed police force team was escorting the foodstuff and when it stopped at a waterlogged place, a mob looted it from the vehicle, locals said.

In protest, the flood victims staged a demonstration for three hours in front of the district administration office. CDO Sharma clarified that the foodstuff was not looted but handed over to four persons who had claimed that they were representatives of civil society and that they would hand over the material to Red Cross Nepal for distributing it to flood victims. He added that the four have been identified and would be arrested for legal action. “First information report was filed against the four yesterday,” he said, “They will be arrested and punished.”

Meanwhile, flood victims from Babiya, Saterjhora and Inaruwa staged a demonstration at the district administration office demanding relief. They alleged that the DAO was biased and tardy in the distribution of relief materials.

“What the hell is this, five kg of beaten rice in the name of relief?” an Inaruwa flood victim Naresh Mahato said. “The government is shirking its responsibility.”

Meanwhile, the natural disaster relief committee today distributed 25 quintals of beaten rice to the flood victims at different places in Sunsari.

CDO Sharma said each flood-hit family in Sunsari’s Inaruwa, Narsingh and Babiya was given five kg of beaten rice as immediate relief. He added that relief materials will be distributed in other parts of the district — Bhokraha, Basantapur and Saterjhoda VDCs — tomorrow.

According to him, a total of 40 quintals of foodstuff was collected from internal sources and means for distribution to flood victims.

Three quintals will go to Inaruwa, six quintals to Narsingh, two quintals to Satejhoda, four quintals to Bhokraha, three-and-a-quarter quintals to Babiya and 10 quintals to Basantapur.

At Mahottari, flood victims, saying that secretary of Bhatauliya VDC Shyam Sundar Singh did not provide assistance on the behalf of the VDC, beat him up in district headquarters Jaleshwor.

He distributed seven quintals of rice and pulses from the VDC fund after hundreds of flood victims started to mistreat him.