Incident Reports

Children held hostage handed over to their Guardians in Kaski


Gandaki, Kaski, Pokhara Lekhnath, Ward 19

(Update)-District Police Office has handed over children of 15 families held at Asha Foundation at Andherikura in Pokhara Sub-Municipality-26 has been handed over to their guardians on July 2. The children, claimed as being the quake victims, hailed from Ri VDC, were held hostage by the Foundation.

Police arrested Foundation chairperson Diwakar Subedi and director Hari Lamsal for investigation after a complaint was filed against them on June 30 accusing them of holding the children hostage in the pretext of rescuing them. SP Hari Bahadur Pal said that the investigation was commenced taking the case as hostage-taking as there was no information to the District Child Welfare Committee (DCWC) and District Administration Office (DAO) and that the family members were also brought along with the children. Police said the Foundation has been ignoring the DCWC call to shift its child shelter from Andherikuna which is at risk of flood and landslides. The children were handed over to the guardians after CDO Krishna Bahadur Raut warned the Foundation that a case of human trafficking would be filed unless they return the kids to their place of origin. The Foundation claimed that they had given the children refuge for 16 days and that its chairperson and director were arrested while they were heading to inform the DAO.

(Updated)-The local administration has arrested two NGO operators for allegedly committing irregularities in arranging shelters for the earthquake victims in Pokhara. Police have detained the Chairman of Aasha Foundation Diwakar Subedi and Executive Director Hari Lamsal on the charge of illegally relocating 15 earthquake-hit families from their village in Ree-5 in Dhading to Pokhara on Monday. Chief District Officer (CDO) Krishna Bahadur Raut said the two persons were detained to investigate the alleged illegal activities they committed.

They have also been accused of collecting relief materials “without taking proper care”, he said. The owner has kept 71 people in temporary shelters at Sarangkot in Pokhara -26, police said. Police detained the two individuals after the Kaski Child Welfare Committee inspected the shelters and found them in dire condition. The committee has requested the CDO to “punish” the two NGO operators. 

Likewise, the member of the committee, Shiva Sharma Chapagain, said Aasha Foundation kept the children without consulting the local bodies. “The activities of the two NGO operators seem suspicious as they have illegally taken the victims to Pokhara rather than helping them in the quake-affected areas itself,” he said. 

Out of the 71 quake-victims illegally relocated, 17 are children under the age of 16. The committee even claimed that the children have higher chances of being at risk of facing exploitation and abuse. However, the foundation claimed they have ferried the quake-victims according to the letter provided by the local VDC Secretary. 

Meanwhile, Chupi Lama Tamang, a quake-victim from Ree VDC, said they have agreed to stay six months at a children’s home as the settlements in Ree are prone to landslides. “We came here just to be safe,” he said. 

Similarly, another member of the committee, Rabiraj Basaula, said that as the government has mobilized security personnel to curb human trafficking, the foundation has made a great mistake by relocating whole families to another place. “The foundation has played with the emotions of quake victims,” he said. Furthermore, the foundation has purchased some galvanized zinc sheets worth Rs 60,0000 saying that they are meant for distribution among quake victims. “Stored foodstuffs are also not being distributed to quake victims. Instead of distributing them, they have been distributing the collected relief materials in other places,” Chapagain said, adding that they have collected a huge amount in the name of quake-victims, but they have not kept their activities and dealings transparent. 

Details and Impacts
Violent / Non-violent Violent
Onesided / Twosided Onesided
Collective / Interpersonal Collective
Primary Form Abduction
Weapons None
Primary Cause Law and Order Violence
Actor 1 - Number of people n/a
Actor 1 - Affiliations CSO/NGO
Actor 1 - Youth na
Actor 2 - Number of people n/a
Actor 2 - Affiliation (Target) Citizen/Individuals
Actor 2 - Youth na
Total Abducted 71
Youth Abducted 17
National/Online Media