UDAYAPUR, August 20: Twelve years after her son went missing, Januka Khatri, a 62 years old mother, has knocked the doors of the District Police Office (DPO), Udayapur, urging the police to find her son.
Santosh Khatri of Chaudandigadi Municipality-6 has been missing since Nov 21, 2006, after the end of the Maoist insurgency in Nepal. As mentioned in the FIR, filed by his mother, Santosh had disappeared from Pathibhara Military Battalion, Jhapa.
As stated in the FIR, Januka had gone to the Battalion to see her son but she was told that he had already left for home. However, he was not found anywhere.
Former district police chief, DSP Bal Krishna Shrestha had told Januka that Santosh had left the barracks for home after a week. After receiving a letter from the barracks requesting to send her son for attendance, Januka had gone to the battalion searching for her son.
“The armed conflict is over but I wonder where he could have gone for such a long time,” laments Januka, adding, “He is not in his workplace nor had he come home. Where has he gone?”
The absence of her son troubles her especially during the festivals when colleagues of Santosh return home to meet their family members. She remembered how she had knocked every door of the barracks and DSP Shrestha irritably said that her son had gone to Terathum.
Januka has been hearing many rumors from a different colleague of his son like he had married a so-called lower caste girl and left the village; he was not at the battalion and many others. Meanwhile, after hearing different stories of her son’s death, Januka suspects that her son must have been killed.
She has been waiting for justice for the past 12 years.
This distraught mother wanders from places to places carrying a family photo in order to find her son. She still hopes to find him.
Police Inspector of DPO, Udayapur, Devi Prasad Phago said, “We are working to find further details that could help to find him.”