JAJARKOT, Sept 16: Until a few years ago, Kamal BK of Paink, Kushe Rural Municipality never missed a single program associated with the CPN (Maoist Centre). He actively participated in each and every campaign, street demonstration or mass gathering staged by the party. But these days he and his wife Anita are busy eaking out a living as porters for travelers in Bheri Municipality and Chhepare of Rukum.
There was a time when Kamal thought about nothing but politics. But that zeal is now gone. Kamal, who comes from a destitute family, braved bullets and sustained injuries during the Maoist armed insurgency. But despite all his struggle and sacrifice, he received nothing from the party other than Rs 20,000 as a relief amount.
In 1995, he used to work as a cook at the police station at Paanch Katiya and Paink. In 1998 when he was visiting home to see his ailing mother, he was abducted by the Maoists. So he had no option but to work ful-ltime as a Maoist cadre. He gave everything for the party but to his disappointment he has received nothing in return. He now feels that the Maoists only used him.
He can't hold back his tears whenever someone asks him about his sacrifices for the insurgency. "We gave it all our energy and all our time but were left empty-handed at the end," laments Anita.
After the insurgency the Maoist leaders came to power, amassed property and took to high living, but minorities like the BKs are still struggling for mere survival, says Kamal.
"They pledged to ring in various changes and sold us big dreams but even after so many years the poor are still poor and miserable," Anita added. The relief amount that they received was also snatched away by someone else. There are no leaders advocating their rights now, they lament.
Meanwhile, Dhakbir Rana, district coordinator of CPN (Maoist-Centre), says that the party is making efforts to help those caught up in the insurgency.
During the Maoist insurgency mayhem, around 400 people lost their lives in Jajarkot alone and 11 are still missing. There are no proper details but it is estimated that around 4,000 were injured or disabled, informed Prithvi Bahadur Budha, coordinator of the local peace committee.
Caption: Kamal BK along with his wife Anita at Chhepare, Rukum.