Three years on, Belbari victims seek compensation

BIRATNAGAR: Three years after her brutal murder, condition of the two children of Sapana Gurung is worsening. Six others were gunned down and over 80 injured, as the villagers surrounded Belbari Base Camp to protest Sapana’s murder.

Probe committees proposed compensation after looking into the crime three times but the victims said they had not got anything reasonable.

“We have got nothing much,” mother of Sapana, Shova Gurung, said.

Shova, being the maternal grandmother, now looks after the two children of Sapana, whose husband later married another woman and went abroad.

The orphans — Nirmala (10) and Dipak (7) — study in Grades III and I, respectively, at the local Godawari Boarding School. Worrying about their future, Shova said, “I wish the government would manage education for the orphaned duo.”

Shova said she had been spending Rs 3 lakhs that she got from the government on their study.

Soldiers at Belabri Base Camp had murdered Sapana after raping her. They gunned down six more locals while they were surrounding the camp demanding action against the guilty.

Sapana’s brother, Prakash, who was injured in the incident, is still under medication.

“My first child was murdered, second got disabled,” Shova lamented. “The youngest one manages two meals a day for us with his little business.”

Struggle committee coordinator Dipak Dhakal said they had often demanded compensation for the kin of the deceased and treatment for the injured. “The government has been turning a deaf ear to our plea,” he added. Pari Thapa-led committee looked into the case twice while a civil society team probed the case once.