KATHMANDU, April 2: The Supreme Court has refused to issue a directive to repatriate Nepali citizens stranded beyond the Mahakali River. A single bench of justice Hari Krishna Karki refused to issue interim order in response to a writ petition filed demanding the evacuation of Nepali nationals being stranded in the border entry points as a result of the lockdown imposed by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The petition registered by six lawyers including advocate Manish Kumar Shrestha stated that it is the government’s responsibility to rescue its citizens wherever they are and government, therefore, should make necessary arrangements either for quarantine or isolation after repatriating them.
A discussion has been scheduled for April 6 to determine whether or not to issuing a directive to repatriate Nepali nationals across the Mahakali River to Nepal. Meanwhile, in Banke, Nepali people opting to return home country via border entry point, however, are bearing the brunt of the inaction of Nepali authorities. "There is neither well arrangement of food nor accommodation for four consecutive days. We are forced to sleep on the roads without a meal. Why are we being subjected to abuse of police personnel from both the countries in the border area?", Janak Shahi, a local of Sinja rural municipality-5, in Jumla lamented at the Jamunaha checkpoint Nepalgunj.
Victim Shahi told RSS that stranded Nepalis have not yet been rescued though several journalists and representatives from local administration reported their cases. "Neither Nepal police allow us to enter into Nepal, nor do the Indian security personnel permit return".
He further said, "They did not even get meal and water. Why such inhumane acts are being imposed on us when the police administration has been already informed about the situation? He further questioned why our government was turning deaf to the problem of its citizens while other countries were busy rescuing their nationals during the time of crisis.
According to him, Nepali people from 15 districts including Humla, Jumla, Kalikot, Dailekh, Jajarkot and Arghakhanchi have been stranded at Jumanaha checkpoint due to the lockdown enforced by the governments to curb COVID-19.
Mayor of Nepalgunj sub-metropolis Dr Dhawal Shumsher Rana said it was not under the ambit of local government to address the problems emerged in international border entry point. However, local government and folks have provided support in the arrangement of meals for the Nepali nationals stuck in border areas, he said talking to RSS.