Incident Reports

Bandarmudhe victims tired of false promises


Bagmati, Chitawan, Bharatpur

The victims of the Bandarmudhe attack have asked CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to stop doling out false assurances about addressing their grievances. On June 6, 2005, Maoist rebels had ambushed a passenger bus in Bandarmudhe, Chitwan, killing 38 people and injuring 72 others. Dahal has defined the incident as the “biggest mistake” committed by his party during the decade-long insurgency and vowed to right the wrong by bringing to justice the individuals involved in that horrific attack. The victims, however, say that they have had enough of contrition and false promises from Dahal and his party, which is now a part of the coalition government led by the CPN-UML. “Stop commenting on the incident and making false promises if you cannot do anything to address our concerns,” Maina Lamichhane, one of the victims told Dahal at an interaction held in Madi on Friday. In last year’s general elections, Maoist Chairman Dahal had contested for a Federal Parliament seat from Chitwan constituency-3, which also constitutes Bandarmudhe of Madi Municipality. During his election rally, he had met the Badarmudhe residents and pledged, among others, a relief package of Rs 6 million each to the families of the victims killed in the incident and free of cost treatment to the injured persons. None of those pledges have been honored. Laxmi Adhikari, whose daughter was injured in the incident, said she has received only Rs 5,000 in the name of relief so far. “There has been no initiative from the past governments to look after those injured and maimed victims like my daughter. How can we assured that this government will treat us any differently?” she said. The Maoist party has led three governments since it joined mainstream politics in 2006. After listening to the victims’ grievances, Dahal reiterated his commitment to addressing their concerns. “As the representative of this constituency, I am ready to take the initiative to address your concerns,” he said. Mayor of Madi Municipality Thakur Dhakal said the municipality has collected the details of the victims from 147 houses to provide relief to the victims and their families. “Ninety percent of the people have demanded relief and justice,” he said.