Maoist rebels took some youth from Kusum in Banke district with them to attack the Armed Police Force training camp last Friday. None of them have returned home and their parents are worried.
"A few hours before they launched that attack, they came home and demanded that my son join them," says Chaudhary, who chose to identify himself only by surname. "I refused but they forced my son to get dressed and leave with them. He hasn't come back." They kick-opened closed doors, dragging out those who hid inside their houses.
"They kicked my door down too," says a septuagenarian. "But, how could I meet their demand? I have no son." Those who didn't have sons were made to pay cash or kind. "They took my clothes, Rs 26,000 cash and some ornaments," said Bhadra Bahadur Thapa, a supervisor at the local Road Department office. The locals are not worried about the money or possessions being snatched, but they fear their children were used as human sheilds in the attacks.
Hundreds of reported rebels took part in the unsucessful Kusum attack, in which at least three dozen Maoists were reported killed. It isn't clear how many young men were taken from the village but now their families fear their sons are among the fallen.