RAUTAHAT/SAPTARI, March 28: While the Madhes-based political parties remain at odds over participation in the upcoming local polls, Madhesi youths from various districts have expressed overwhelming interest in getting recruited as temporary police personnel for deployment as poll security.
Saptari district still does not have a conducive environment for elections due to strident protests from the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF). But hundreds of aspiring youths were observed standing in queue throughout the day Monday in front of the District Police Office (DPO) Saptari to join as temporary police personnel.
The youths put up with hours of scorching heat to submit their application forms for the posts of temporary police. A very determined expression could be observed in their faces while they were submitting their applications.
A similar situation was to be observed in Rautahat. Despite growing tensions and the uncertainly surrounding the local polls in Madhes, youths from remote villages and towns reached district headquarters and showed up in front of DPO Rautahat to fill up their applications.
The youths are desperate to be recruited as temporary police, mainly due to unemployment. Inspector Ashok Kumar Jha at the DPO, who has been tasked with overseeing the registration forms, said some of the applicants have just basic literacy while others are studying for their bachelors’ degrees.
“The number of people applying has been increasing day by day. More of them applied on the second day of recruitment. The highest number of applicants registered on the third day,” informed Jha.
Parabesh Mishra of Tilathi village in Saptari was among the hundreds who submitted their applications Monday. He is currently in the third year of a bachelor’s degree program. Despite the uncertainty of the elections actually taking place, Mishra said he filled the application form in hopes of getting a job if the election does happen .
“When the government opens such recruitment, what other choice do we have? For unemployed youths like me, nothing matters more than getting a job, even if it’s temporary,” he said.
Another youth, Ranjeet Chaudhary, expressed his indifference to the current political situation. “The dispute between UDMF and the government is political. We’ll work as temporary police if the elections take place. If not, there’s nothing much we can do.”
Ratna Kumar Karna of Tilathi said neither the government nor UDMF cares
about youth unemployment.
“That’s why we have no alternative but to fill these forms.” Manju Devi Chaudhary, a local of Mewa-8, is a mother of three. She said she signed up for the temporary posts as she finds it difficult to feed her five children. “If I get the job, it will bring a little financial respite for me. The country can help us by ensuring that the election is held on time.”
According to Inspector Bijaya Shrestha at DPO Saptari, around 1,000 people in the district have applied for the temporary police posts so far. The applications opened on Friday.
UDMF has been opposing the local elections since the day the poll date was announced. But most of the youths applying for the posts of temporary police are of Madhesi origin. The situation is in stark contrast with the UDMF stance.
With the election now just 48 days away, there has been no election fever in the Tarai. Unrest in the region is still continuing. On March 6, five people were killed in Maleth, Saptari in clashes with police. A total of 75,000 temporary police personnel are being recruited for the elections. They will be deployed for one month and will be given the same level salary as Nepal Police personnel.