A conflict-era 'bourgeois' teacher victim

Published On: August 15, 2016 02:30 AM NPT By: Devendra Basnet & Ganesh BK

DANG/RUKUM, Aug 15: He is paralysed on the left side of the body. He cannot walk without crutches. A scar on his head reminds him of the grim days of the Maoist insurgency. Kiran Yogi of Dang was harassed and thrashed by the Maoist rebels for being a 'bourgeois' teacher.

He was eventually abducted by a group of Maoist rebels on 21 August 2003 while taking classes at Nepal Rastriya Secondary School, Bardiya. A well-wisher of Nepali Congress, he was targeted by the Maoists for refusing to become a Maoist supporter. He was taken to a field near the school. “I was shot in the head by the Maoists,” he said. He was in a coma for 23 days and did recovered later. But doctors could not remove the bullet lodged in his head and this has left him paralyzed.

Later, the government removed him from his teaching job. He becomes emotional while talking about it. "Why was I removed from my job? I ask all government agencies but they do not answer," he shared.

“We cannot continue with a disabled person like you in the job, we cannot ensure security,” he recalls Chief District Officer Narendra Dahal as saying.

First he was victimized by the Maoists and then by the state. After the Maoists confiscated all his property, he became displaced from Bardiya and started living in Dang with in-laws.

 Dav Prasad Budha of Rangkot, Rolpa was also forced to abandon his home and property. “We used to receive death threats from the Maoists,” he said adding, “We used to give 25-50 percent of our salaries to Maoist cadres.” Later, they started receiving threats from the state as well for giving money to the Maoists, he said. After coming under massive pressure from both sides, he quit his job and moved to Dang. He has never gone back to Rolpa.

The plight of Nara Jeet Basnet of Pipal-3, Rukum is a bid different. The Maoist rebels chopped off his left hand on February 25, 1996, accusing him to be supporting the Nepali Congress.Then Maoists dubbed him a 'bourgeois' teacher, and any treatment meted out to a 'bourgeois' was fair treatment, he said.

 Teachers were targeted by both sides. “We were equally terrorized by both the state and the rebels,” Sherbeer Dahal, a teacher in Rukum, said. As many as 23 teachers were forced to quit their jobs and nine of them were killed. The number of conflict-victim teachers in the country is more than 300.

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