Yarsha errand turns bloody, seven Gorkha locals murdered in Manang

GORKHA: After the word of the murder of seven fellow villagers in Manang spread in the vicinity, locals of Kerauja village of Gorkha have now been shell-shocked.

Among dozens of villagers those set out to upper hills of Manang in search of the prized herb of Yarsagumba a few weeks ago, five were brutally killed by locals in Narkhola on June 10. Two others lost their lives falling off a cliff in the same area while fleeing in teh same incident.

Gyan Bahadur Gurung, 33, Bir Bahadur Gurung,18, Kanchha Gurung, 27, Kami Gurung,18, Sobar Gurung, 22, Dhruba Gurung,18, all of Kerauja-1 and Aitaram Gurung,18, of Kerauja-2 were those dead in the wake of a dispute regarding the collection of the herb. Among the deceased, Gyan Bahadur and Bir Bahadur are brothers.

In the aftermath of the murder, all other persons who have gone to Manang in order to collect the prized herb have returned the village.

Nar Bahadur Gurung, a local, who had also gone to Manang hills, has been surprised as no such untowards occurred in the previous years. " We used to go to collect Yarsagumba in the previous years as well. However, we had never experienced such tragedy."

According to him, the Gorkha folks had entered the forest of Nar VDC secretly as they ran out of money and also could not get Yarsagumba in other adjoining areas. Outsiders were not allowed to enter the Nar forest by the locals.

Kancchi Gurung, another local woman, informed that a team of the villagers, after learning the tragedy, had gone to Manang village in search of the bodies of the deceased on 26 June. However, the team could do nothing bus has been confined in the district headquarter Chame.

The grieved locals have demanded compensation to the kin of those murdered and stern action against the culprits.

Meanwhile, the police in Manang detained 13 people of Nar village in connection to the murder.

Among those arrested are Nanga Dawa Lama, Nigma Ritar Lama, Ghyksang Dhawa Lama, Sangidawa Lama, Sonam Khaamsum Ghale and Somnath Chitel Lama. Those held already confessed to the crime, police said.

The accused informed that they had buried the five dead bodies in a ditch following the murder. They also revealed that other two died falling from a cliff while fleeing from the area.

The police have also dispatched a team of 17 police personnel under the command of Police Inspector Amar Chhetri to the incident site.