Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Families wait

While injured Maoists have been promised treatment and the government is actually talking about providing for the Maoist army, the families of Dambar Ekten, Tekbahadur Ekten and Govinda Acharya, killed by the state, are yet to hear from the government about compensation. Dambar, 44, of Ilam Maimai, was accused of being a Maoist and taken away by the army in February 2002. He was later shot to death. His wife Tika Kumari and their son, then five months old, do not have much to survive on and are being supported by their neighbours. Tika Kumari went to district headquarters to ask for compensation but was told that none is available for the families of those accused of being Maoists. She denies that her husband was a Maoist and adds,

"When the government kills someone they have to do a proper investigation and make sure that the families are provided for. I am not asking for much, I just want to feed my son well and send him to a proper school." Maoist area worker Tek Bahadur Ekten, 28, was taken from his home and killed by the army. His two orphans and his wife Fulmaya are in the same situation as Dambar Ekten's wife and child. Gobinda Acharya was forced to attend a Maoist function in Biratnagar in April 2003. On the way, their bus met with an accident and Acharya was seriously injured. When he asked for compensation he was told he would only be given money if he promised to join the party. Later that same year the Maoists came to Acharya and killed him. His youngest brother quit school to help support his family. The Maoists gave his father Khem Bahadur Acharya a piece of paper that they said declared Gobinda a martyr. There has been no response from the government.

"No one understands what we are going through," Khem Bahadur says. More than 8,500 individuals throughout Nepal and 82 in Ilam alone have been killed by the state during the conflict. Their families have received no compensation from the government while those killed by Maoists have received some money. Tika Kumari's neighbour Til Bahadur Limbu was accused of being a spy by the Maoists and killed in 2004. His family was awarded Rs 200,000 in compensation. "The promised amount is yet to be given to us," said Til Bahadur's son Chitra Hang, adding, "Money can't buy my father back, he is gone."

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)