A memorial built at Badarmudhe of Chitwan in rememberance of the people killed in a ambush by the Maoists. Photo: Sabita Shrestha/Republica
CHITWAN, Nov 3: Badarmudhe reminds of one of the cruelest incidents of the decade long Maoist insurgency in the country. Thirty eight innocent travelers lost their lives when a passenger bus was ambushed by the Maoists here on June 6, 2005, while dozens others were severely injured. The incident had drawn flak from all quarters. It remains as a ‘scar’ of the war till this day.
To heal the pain, Madi Municipality has decided to build a park at Badarmudhe in memory of the people who lost their lives. According to the mayor of Madi Municipality, Thakur Dhakal, construction of the park will cost around Rs 100 million.
“This park is our priority. The cost of building the park is estimated to be around Rs 100 million,” said Dhakal. “Madi came in the spotlight due to the infamous Badarmudhe incident. That was not a pleasant incident. That remains as a deep wound of the conflict era. Constructing a beautiful park will give a message of peace,” he added.
After the mass murder, Chitwan went numb. Four years later, families of the deceased and injured with the support of a few local organizations built a memorial of the departed souls. Every year, the families reach here to offer condolences.
“The wounds are still fresh. An annual program is organized every year to pay tribute to the departed souls,” said Dhakal. “After the memorial park is constructed, we hope that the people will feel a little better.”
The park which will be stretched along a large area of land, he stated.
“The Badarmudhe incident brought the entire Madi into the spotlight. This infamous incident eclipsed other special features of this place. Now, we want to do something to tell the world that this place has many other things to offer. We are starting from building the park, and there are other plans too,” he noted.
The municipality has already prepared the detailed project report (DPR) of the park. And after being endorsed by the provincial finance ministry, it has been forwarded to the Indian embassy. The municipality requested the Indian Ambassador for financial support.
Around three bighas of land have been considered for the park. As per the plan, statues of all the victims would be built at the park.
“We have planned to build the busts resembling the deceased people. This is the way to pay tribute to them and to conserve the history,” Dhakal said.
Apart from such statues, the municipality is going to build a museum on the park premises. The museum will reflect the harmony between the diverse communities.
“The visitors will find a mini Madi here. They will get a glimpse of the culture and lifestyle of the diverse communities of this place,” he added. “We are doing all necessary homework for this.”
The park will be divided into two parts. One part will be designed basically for children. According to Dhakal, the children’s section would cover a smaller area. There is also a plan to build a temple, which will be at the middle of the park.
“The temple is obviously for all. But it is more meaningful for those families who lost their members in the incident. In the annual meet, they can organize a puja at the temple,” he said.
There is the Badarmudhe river near the memorial. This sometimes poses risk of flood. And the municipality has worked to address this too.
“The course of the river has been slightly changed. This prevents the risk,” Dhakal said.
Meanwhile, the president of Badarmudhe Struggle Committee, Mutinath Neupane, expressed dismay over the news that a park is being constructed. He said he was not formally informed about it.
“It is sad that we were not informed of this development,” he said.