NEPALESE IN MEGHALAYA Nagging Fear

Nepalese in Meghalaya say the government there does not care about their problems and no compensation has been given to the families of people who lost their lives in ethnic clashes four months ago <br><STRONG>UMA KANTA KHANAL</STRONG> in Jhapa

Oct. 11, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 04 No.-09 Oct. -08-2010(Ashwin 22, 2067)

It was some four months ago that Nepali speaking people in Meghalaya, one of the north east states of India, bore the brunt of ethnic clashes. Tribal Khasis and Nepali speaking people clashed and, it was claimed, more than one and a half dozen Nepali speaking people died. Thousands of Nepali speaking people were displaced to other states. Some returned to Nepal, saying that they would not go there to work in the coal mines again.

But even now they do not feel any more secure there. They say that the government does not care about the problems of Nepali speaking people. According to them, no compensation has been given to the families of people who lost their lives in the clashes.

"The government did not intend to take any initiative to collect data of how many Nepali speaking people were killed. Many Nepalis were trapped in the coal mines when they tried to escape," T.R. Joshi, who belongs to Meghalaya Gorkha Welfare Centre, said.

According to the Nepalis of Meghalaya, the media organizations also didn't support them. Diwakar Poudyal from Ladrumbai said, "The media do not support us in any of the incidents that happen against us."

But the government of Meghalaya says there was only one incident in which one has lost his life. Loknath Bastola, a farmer, was burnt to death. The home minister of Meghalaya, HDR Lyngdoh, said, "The situation is very normal now. The Nepali speaking people are living in peace."

According to him there is no any report of any clash between Khasi and Nepali. Lyngdoh said, "The government is taking care of Nepali speaking people. We are like brothers and sisters."

On May 14, in the conflict of Langpi which lies on the border of Assam and Meghalaya, four Khasi people were killed by the Assam police. The Khasi communities blame that the Nepali speaking people supported Assam side and they gave ultimatum to the Nepali people to quit Meghalaya within 24 hours. Later, by the request of the state government and the different organizations of the Indian Gorkhas, the Khasi communities took back the ultimatum.

The population of Nepali speaking people in Meghalaya is near about two lakhs. Many Nepali people have migrated from Nepal permanently or temporarily to work in the coal mines. But the government of Meghalaya says there was only one incident in which one has lost his life. Loknath Bastola, a farmer, was burnt to death. The home minister of Meghalaya, HDR Lyngdoh, said, "The situation is very normal now. The Nepali speaking people are living in peace."

According to him there is no any report of any clash between Khasi and Nepali. Lyngdoh said, "The government is taking care of Nepali speaking people. We are like brothers and sisters."

On May 14, in the conflict of Langpi which lies on the border of Assam and Meghalaya, four Khasi people were killed by the Assam police. The Khasi communities blame that the Nepali speaking people supported Assam side and they gave ultimatum to the Nepali people to quit Meghalaya within 24 hours. Later, by the request of the state government and the different organizations of the Indian Gorkhas, the Khasi communities took back the ultimatum.

The population of Nepali speaking people in Meghalaya is near about two lakhs. Many Nepali people have migrated from Nepal permanently or temporarily to work in the coal mines.

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