BIPIN JOSHI: Call For Release

Nepali Parliamentarians Call For The Release Of Bipin Joshi And Other Captives Held By Hamas

April 21, 2024, 9:31 a.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 17, No. 18, April.26,2024 (Baishak,14. 2081) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

The call for the release of Bipin Joshi and other hostages by the families has gained momentum. After a prolonged period of silence, Bipin Joshi's family recently gathered in the capital for a comprehensive meeting. The meeting was attended by Members of Parliament, civil society members, human rights activists, and foreign diplomats based in Nepal.

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Despite more than six months passing since Bipin Joshi, a Nepali student studying in Israel, was kidnapped by Hamas along with other individuals, including Israeli citizens, the Nepal government has shown little initiative in recent times. The international community has also been less active in advocating for the release of these innocent hostages, including Nepali nationals.

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In light of the increasingly uncertain situation, Bipin Joshi's family, including his father, mother, sister, and relatives, recently met with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal at his office. They were accompanied by their representatives and the chief whip of the Nepali Congress, Ramesh Lekhak. During the meeting, Prime Minister Dahal assured Bipin's family that the government is fully committed to utilizing all its resources and institutions to secure the release of Bipin Joshi. Prior to the family's meeting with Prime Minister Dahal, the Israeli Embassy in Kathmandu and Ambassador Hanan Goder had already taken steps towards securing the release of Bipin Joshi.

Addressing a gathering at the ambassador's residence, ambassador Hanan Goder expressed, "Both Nepalis and Israelis hope for his swift and secure return home." He emphasized the importance of international support in securing the release of Bipin Joshi and other hostages, stressing that this is a humanitarian concern.

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The family of Bipin Joshi, who is being held captive by Hamas, urged the Nepal government and the international community to intervene and ensure the immediate release of Bipin and the other 133 hostages under Hamas' control. Bipin Joshi's father, Mahananda Joshi, mother, Padma Joshi, and sister, Pushpa Joshi, made a heartfelt plea for his prompt release from Hamas' captivity.

The Israeli Embassy in Nepal has also called upon the international community to work towards the release of Bipin Joshi from Kanchanpur, who has been held by Hamas for over six months. Ambassador Goder, together with Bipin's family, made a joint appeal at his residence in Bishalnagar for the international community to take action for the safe return of Bipin.

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In the presence of the British Ambassador, EU Ambassador, Ambassador of Finland to Nepal, and Deputy Chief of the Mission of the US Embassy, Ambassador Goder conveyed his condolences to the families of the 10 Nepalese students who lost their lives in the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7.

Ambassador Goder, who has been actively working to alleviate their suffering, provide medical care to the 6 injured Nepali students, and secure the release of Bipin, who was held captive, emphasized the need for international support in addition to Nepal's efforts for Bipin's safe return.

He urged everyone to continue advocating through social media in English and Arabic to ensure that Hamas hears their voices.

During a gathering, former minister and House of Representatives member Prabhu Sah criticized the government's actions regarding Bipin's release, pointing out that hostages from other countries are being freed while Nepalese citizens are still in captivity. Sah expressed disappointment in the lack of government action and noted that the issue was not even discussed in the parliamentary committee he is a part of.

Ramesh Lakhak, the Chief Whip of Nepali Congress for the House of Representatives, has made a request to both the government and the international community. He urged them to put in more efforts towards ensuring the safe release of Bipin. It is worth mentioning that Bipin is not only a Congress leader from the writer's constituency, but also a relative. In a program, Mahanand Joshi, Bipin's father, expressed his distress by stating that he hasn't heard his son's voice for six and a half months.

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Despite being imprisoned for a year, there has been no news about him. Mahanand Joshi pleaded with Hamas and the government to send his innocent son back home. Bipin's mother, Padma Joshi, shared that she was mentally disturbed upon seeing her son's condition. Pushpa Joshi, Bipin's sister, appealed for someone to take the initiative in securing her brother's release.

Bipin's sister, Pushpa Joshi, expressed dissatisfaction with the government's diplomatic efforts, stating that they did not result in her brother's safe return. She highlighted the government's positive relations with Qatar and Egypt.

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"Is Ismail Hania, the leader of Hamas, residing in Qatar? Has the government made any attempts to contact him?" she inquired. Joshi urged the government to enhance their diplomatic endeavors to secure Bipin's release. Despite the release of some hostages, including a foreign national held by Israel, it is reported that Hamas still holds 133 prisoners from various countries, including Bipin Joshi.

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