Nepalis sneak into Nepal from India defying lockdown; say they’d rather die in their homeland (with photos)
April 2, 2020 03:56 PM NPT
By: Arjun Oli
NEPALGUJ, April 1: Several attempts made by the local administration to restrict the entry of Nepali nations to their homeland from India have gone in vain as hundreds of Nepalis have made it to Nepali side.
Local administration quoting ‘the order by higher authority’ had sealed Nepalgunj Rupaidiha entry point at Nepal-India border to control the cross-border movement of people to curb the spread of novel coronavirus disease. However, Nepalis in India entered to Nepal crossing forests, rivers and fields along the bordering areas.
Some of them were, however, stopped by Nepali security personnel deployed along the borderline. 181 people who had entered via land border crossings at Jayaspur, Hirminiya, and Saigaun of Banke district were asked to return again to India via Jamunaha-Rupaidiya and stay in quarantine there. However, the attempts to convince for their entry to India until 11 pm on Wednesday night turned futile as they all denied to go back to India again.
“We’d rather die from hunger in the homeland. No matter it is jungle or open field or anywhere else,” they said adding that they would not return to India under any circumstances.
One of the India returnees Janak Bahadur Budhathoki of Rolpa said that it was severely unbearable to have seen the government trying to send off its citizens to India who had just made it to their motherland facing a number of hurdles. “It feels as if this government is not our guardian,” lamented Budhathoki adding, “We’d rather urge the government to shoot us but not such an ill-treatment.”
They accused the government of attempting to banish them out of the country.
“Although we are legitimate citizens, it seems the government is vehemently denying the fact,” another returnee Ganesh Bahadur Gandharva said.
When the administration was forcing them to go for quarantine stay in Jamunaha area of Indian side of the border on Wednesday midnight, some of them were venting their ire against the government while some others were sobbing. “When our land of law is trying to drive off to another country, you can’t imagine how it really feels. We’d rather die,” they said.
Chief at District Police Office, Banke SP Bir Bahadur Oli said that none of them was ready to go back to India. “All of them had entered the district through illegal entry points four days ago,” he said adding, “Although the Indian officials tried to to provide shelter to them at quarantine set up at Nanpara, they were not convinced.”
Nine of them who include physically challenged, females and children have been kept at a quarantine set up at Mahendra Multiple Campus, Nepalgunj at the request of Nepalgunj sub metropolis.
It was learnt that 17 Nepalis were still staying at quarantines in India’s Nanpara. 200 more could be kept there, so they were urged to go back to the Indian side. However, they denied it and have been doing time at the no man’s land on the Indian side.
By seeing the miserable condition of Nepalis on the no man's land, Nepali security personnel also feel pity but can do nothing as they have not received any order from the higher authority.
The stranded Nepalis, however, do not have to starve as Nepalgunj submetropolis has been making necessary arrangement of foodstuff for them.
According to deputy mayor of sub metropolis Uma Thapa Magar, they have been provided food and drinking water. A mobile toilet has also been set up.
Local administration and sub metropolitan office are discussing for necessary steps to be taken to set up quarantine at no man’s land along the Nepali side and shelter them for the next fourteen days.