DADELDHURA-It is tricky when a 71-year-old father has two sons- one a Maoist militant, the other a policeman. While his Maoist son has given up the family and gone into the jungles, his policeman son has dedicated his life to defending the state. But their careers don't make much difference to their father. All he wants is for his two sons to stay alive and not end up killing each other. Having them face each other in battle is his worst fear. He lives alone and there is no one to take care of or even feed him. Neither son wants to give up his career to come home and care for him.
This is a common story in Salun village of Dadeldhura, where siblings and relatives who join the opposing sides often end up as unwitting enemies. Villagers dread tuning into the radio news of encounters between the militants and security forces, fearing they might hear that one of their own was killed, whether they belong to the state or the rebel army. More than 150 youth from the village have joined the two forces, so having relatives facing each other in battle is inevitable.
"When I met my brother, we both cried thinking about how we grew up together but still were not able to convince each other to quit," recalls a policeman. While some have no choice but to follow the orders to kill, there are some who do not have the heart to do so. A few days ago, a Maoist militant 'abducted' his policeman cousin and protected him so he would not get killed during a planned Maoist attack.