Terror reigns in Madi after blast

Chintamani Poudel

Chitwan, June 7:

Mina Praja was heading district headquaters, Bharatpur, from Ayodhyapur to acquire citizenship but before she could be get one she was killed in yesterday’s landmine blast with at least 37 others. She had set off for the journey along with her husband Rabindra Chaudhari and father Phurke Praja who also were killed in the blast that shook the whole nation. Fortunately, her brother Raju Praja, who was travelling on the hood of the bus, survived the blast and he is undergoing treatment at a hospital. Raju was thrown some 25 metres away by the explosion. Members of an entire family from Jhapa, who had come to Madi of Chitwan to attend a marriage, perished in the incident.

While the whole nation is mourning the civilian deaths, life in Madi, a small valley with four VDCs, is never going to be the same. Terror and grief reigns the valley. Yesterday a local bus, Na 2 Kha 3245, carrying over 100 passengers heading Bankatta, trampled upon a landmine and blasted thunderously as it was about to reach the Kalyanpur VDC border. In another heart-rendering tale, the family of Dinesh Lamsal could not reach to his in-law’s house. The family of four including Dinesh’s wife Goma, son Dipesh and daughter Dipa also perished in the incident. “The dead were silent but those wounded were wailing in pain and some were shouting names of their relatives in agony,” a local resident Ram Prasad Neupane said. “Wounded children were frantically calling their mothers while the mothers were looking for their children and other relatives. The immediate aftermath of the blast was a very gloomy scene,” Krishna Chaudhary, a school teacher who was engaged in resuce work said.

Six infants were among those killed and seven infants were severly injured. The huge pile of corpses would move anyone’s heart. Locals used wheel carts to deliver the wounded to the hospital and later ambulances and whatever vehicles were available there were used for the rescue work, a villager said.

Meanwhile, in Pokhara Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare, Durga Shrestha, said that the Maoists want to create terror in the country by killing people indiscriminately.

Speaking at a press meet here today she said that the Kalyanpur incident was a result of the Maoists’ defeated mentality. Meanwhile, Speaker Taranath Ranabhat has condemned the killings of innocent people in the landmine explosion of the passenger bus near Bandermude river of Chitwan district and described it a heinous and barbaric act. In Pokhara, at least 54 human rights organisations have urged the Maoists to immediately release the 11 students of Kalika Secondary School at Bharatpokhari VDC. By issuing a press release on Tuesday, the Network of Civil Society for Peace, formed by the HR bodies made the appeal.