‘Agitating asylum seekers aren’t Bhutanese refugees’


Assistant Chief District Officer of Jhapa, Yogendra Dulal, claimed that asylum seekers arrested by Nepal Police are not “Bhutanese refugees”.

“A high-level verification team formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued refugee identity cards to all pending cases,” Dulal told mediapersons at Damak on Thursday.

File photo : Assistant CDO Yogendra Dulal signing an agreement paper committing to fulfill demands of asylum seekers in Beldangi-II last year

“These people are not refugees from Bhutan. We’ll exercise measures to remove them from the refugee camps funded by aid agencies,” he stated.

Dulal also reiterated the stance of local government that those arrested would be punished as he blamed them of ‘disturbing camp management committee elections’ in the camps.

Damak police have already filed a public offence case against 18 Bhutanese nationals arrested on Monday from Beldangi-II. There are remanded in a weeklong judicial custody at Damak Police Station after appearing at the Jhapa district court yesterday.

Meanwhile, health conditions of all detainees are reportedly deteriorating as they have been fasting-unto-death since Monday afternoon. Three women have been hospitalized at the Lifeline Hospital.

However, local media reports from Damak quoted police officials as refuting reports of hunger strikes inside the prison cells.


  1. “These people are not refugees from Bhutan”. so who are these people? are they Nepalese or Indian? what I think is every one should have identity and country. Nepal government should identify them and should give justice asap.

  2. I think Yogandra Dulal is a harsh and corrupt guy, as an administrator. How sure he is to declared that the agitating guys r not the Bhutanese. How dear he is.
    In my wild guess these people should be Bhutanese, that’s why they r trying to get registered.
    He can’t declared them non- Bhutanese without verification. It is too much for the agitators to know that they r not Bhutanese when they carry the Bhutanese blood in their veins.

    The fact is that the Nepalese officials are demanding ransom from the unregistered Bhutanese and if they get the hefty amount they click them Bhutanese. If other are not able to pay the bribe of their demand then they are non – Bhutanese. This is clear to me because one of my brother got registered when the Nepali officials were paid huge sum of money. I sent some amount from the US to bribe them. This is the bitter truth, the Nepalese officials will not budge without the bribe. They openly ask the people. And that is the tragedy to be unregistered.
    Common GON be sensible and humane , don’t give refugees a difficult time with your misjudgment. Come out of the vicious circle of bribery. Common Nepal, we love the country but not the system. The govt. is most corrupt which can not deliver any thing to the people, wake up now.

  3. BRRC chairperson Dr. Bhampa Rai earlier said they were his fellow Bhutanese. Why and where they remained without registration for so long is the question rather than blunt statement ‘Agitating asylum seekers aren’t Bhutanese refugees’

    They should not have disturbed camp management committee elections in the camps as accused. Where were they for so long if they are Bhutanese as they claim? Do they have any evidence to prove the claim?

  4. This is not as simple as we think. One question someone has asked above really needs answer – If they are Bhutanese, why in these 19 years, they did not register themselves? (We know that registration, re-registration etc have often taken place from time to time). Unless, they are people, who have recently left Bhutan (in most cases after being released from prisons, which can be verified) the identity of these agitating people will be smeared under the shadow of speculations.

    1) There are people, who have obtained citizenship in Nepal; who now cannot be considered ‘Bhutanese’. So they are legally and technically ‘Nepalese citizens’ not ‘Bhutanese’. Nepalese citizens cannot and should not live in the refugee camps nor should enjoy any assistance meant only for the Bhutanese refugees; including resettlement opportunities abroad. I agree with Dulal here.

    2) There were some Bhutanese who had out migrated from Bhutan in the 1960s to escape Bhutan’s rigorous labor contribution system; and settled in Jhapa and Morang districts. During the early 1990s when the movement inside Bhutan appeared to be quite promising, I met some 30 of them at Mr. Tek Nath Rizal’s house in Birtamode (while I was on my way to Kathmandu). They said, if the movement for democracy succeeds, they would return – opportunity seekers. I knew it was wrong because they were Nepalese citizens by then.

    Many of these people I am sure have tried or are still trying to register in the camps now – not with the hope of returning to Bhutan – but with the hope of resettling abroad.

    3) And there is a huge ‘giroha’ stationed in Damak – enticing, buying, bullying, forging, tricking, bribing luring – doing anything insensible to get even remote humans registered, so that the next is to process resettlement through the IOM. Involved in these activities are the scammers, administrators, politicians and worst of all some Bhutanese themselves.

  5. RP Sir,
    I admire your views seriously as they are always truthful and factual. But the last phrase “SOME BHUTANESE THEMSELVES” of the last sentence of your comment startles me so much. I ask “Why should they not if they have no hope of progress in Bhutan?” This is the case with almost all the relatives of emigrants, absconder and evictees.

    They waited for repatriation of their fellow relatives and restoration of properties and citizenship. But the things are going against legitimate expectation that would lead to logical settlement of the problem. What should they do now instead of availing the most workable solution that was arrived at in the wisdom of international community?