Beldangi remains tensed as locals beat refugees; CMC restricts them from going outside camps

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Three camps of Beldangi remain tensed on Thursday as the Camp Management Committee (CMC) decided to restrict refugees from going outside the camps demanding arrest of those local youths involved in physically assaulting two refugees of Beldangi-II camp on Tuesday.

According to Beldangi Camp Secretary Dhan Bir Subba, a gang of around six local youths mercilessly attacked Kumar Rai of sector G and Indra Kumar Rai of sector F nearby the camp when they were returning from Damak. Both of them are being treated at the BP Koirala Memorial Hospital, Dharan.

“The situation is such that our people feel insecure to go outside the camp,” Rai told BNS adding,” The authority is not serious towards our demands and we decided to confine the refugees within camps.”

Refugees return to camps following instructions from the Beldangi CMC/Rohit Kumar Pokhrel

CMC representatives returned hundreds of refugees back to their huts this morning from various junctions of three camps. They have been told to stay inside the camp until the next notice.

Following the clash, the Armed Police Force (APF) arrested a refugee youth for his alleged involvement in the attack.

He was kept in the camp-based safe room for two days and was released on Wednesday.

His family source informed Bhutan News Service that he was innocent, but could recognize of those in the local gangs. However, none of them have been arrested yet.

As CMC restricted refugee labours from moving outside the camp, locals obstructed IOM (International Organization for Migration) vehicles for several hours.

Meanwhile, an all-party meeting that convened at the APF office to find a solution to the problem decided to allow the IOM vehicles to transport refugees to the airport.

“There was a brief discussion. Everyone was of the opinion that IOM vehicles should not be obstructed.We’ll have major discussion at 4 pm,” said Basudev Khanal, BRAIN (Bhutanese Refugees Association of Intellectual Novas) coordinator after the meeting.

Accordingly, four IOM vehicles carrying resettling refugees left for the Bhadrapur Airport at 12:10 pm today.

The next meeting has been called for 4 pm this afternoon.

Reported by Jeetan Subba with inputs from Tulsi Upreti from Beldangi-I and Rohit Kumar Pokhrel from Beldangi-II

5 COMMENTS

  1. Why Local Peoples are assaulting Bhutanese refugee time and again.Those horriable things happened to other camps last year and years before too.This doesn’t make any sense, to take action to Bhutanese people doesn’t be profitable.Anyway they are Refugee they dont have home and land but they are human being there is a Humanitarian relation between local folks and Bhutanese.Meanwhile Bhutanese folks have to go outside the camp as a local labours,that is their complusion.If the camp management committee stop those labour on the way to their work.There may be chance of other problem in coming days.Everyone knows that the facilities give by the Refugee supporting Agencies/Organization in not enough to the Bhutanese refugees.Everyone knows that life in the Refugee camp is miserable so,to have a talk with the local leader and Bhutanese leader will end problem with solution.Hope they will end up the problem with the good solution.

  2. This is the most horrifying thing happening in the camps. When I read through this article I remembered the bitter incident that occurred in Khudunabari Bhutanese Refugee camp when I was the Camp Secretary in 2000. It was a tussle between the camp and the local people. You know how badly the locals undermine the refugees. The locals and the police jointly battered a guy and he was fatally wounded. When the angry youth tried to retaliate the action against the hooliganism and the local goons the whole Khudunabari locals came into the camp attacking refugee indiscriminately.
    The next day they stopped the water supply and forcefully stop the trucks ferrying rations into the camp. The thugs and the criminals from around the camps and as far as Dhulabari and sanischarey sneaked into the camp cutting and tearing down the huts and the people.
    That was one of the most painful moments that I ever came across. The locals were attacking and trying to portray the refugees as the wrong doers. But UNHCR strongly intervened the locals claim and dismissed their factious charges. We went under pathetic and outrageous movements while in the camp. Even this time I know UNHCR will play its part to solve the problem. Also there are good people amongst the locals who sides the refugees in time of need.
    That time my whole body was hypnotized and was dissolved in pain. Even now my the bad experience of the camp life bring shivers and chill when I look back my life in the camp. I feel the guys in the camps must be undergoing same degree of trauma at the hands of the ultra-miscreants.
    But despite of that uneasiness and instability, threat and torture our folks are collaborating with the local miscreants and not capitalizing the opportunity of resettlement. At least I have not felt that degree of threat here in the US. I am proud that I am safe here.
    Thanks