Coordinator of a group formed by 174 disqualified asylum seekers, Purna Gautam, has claimed that including himself all 174 persons are genuine Bhutanese.
In a special telephonic interview with the Bhutan News Service after his release from 11-day custody, Gautam claimed that he possessed sufficient documents to prove him as a Bhutanese citizen.
“I have every document as required by the Government of Nepal and the United Nations for High Commissioner for Refugees,” Coordinator Gautam clarified.
According to him, he has a separate hut in his name, official census slip provided by the Refugee Coordination Unit (RCU) under the Ministry of Home Affairs, land ownership paper from Bhutan and academic certificates showing his schooling in the camp.
“My three sisters have already been resettled. We four brothers have been left at limbo,” he added, claiming he attended both interviews conducted by the Joint Verification Team (JVT) in 2008 and 2012.
Eighteen Bhutanese asylum seekers including Gautam were released on bail of Rs 500 by the Chief District Officer of Jhapa, Narendra Sharma, on Thursday.
The CDO has sternly warned them of not to involve in any kind of protests in the camps, and asked them to approach the Ministry of Home Affairs to press the ministry for their refugee identity cards, according to Gautam.
“We have been told that we are genuine Bhutanese by the Chief District Officer and must qualify for obtaining the refugee identity cards.”