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l Prem Bahadur Rana of Tanahu had been based in Sandhikharka for some years. His wife Balkumari joined him a year ago. She had cooked meat and sel-roti for the Teej feast and was waiting for her husband to arrive at their rented home near the police office. The couple have a five-year-old son, who was also waiting for his father as the mother cooked. The family was planning to eat together that night. But then Balkumari realised that it was getting late and the food was getting cold and the five-year-old had already fallen asleep. When she walked out to see what was happening, the smell of burning ammunition was everywhere. Still hoping her husband would show up, she did not eat. In the early hours of the morning, Balkumari came to know that her husband had been killed. The food she had cooked was uneaten, and lay in the same plate she had dished it into the day before. The day after, Tuesday (10 August), she was on a helicopter heading out of Sandhikharka with her son and the dead body of her husband. Balkumari spend the entire day of the Teej fast crying. Her five-year-old came and sat down on her lap, uncertain of what exactly was happening, but aware that the Maoists had killed his father.

l Samita Karki became a widow on the day of her marriage. Her husband Kaji Raut was killed in Bhiman, Sindhuli, hours after the two had tied the knot on 7 August. Samita and Kaji were in love and got married on that day even though their families and friends had asked them to wait until November. They got married in the temple, after which Kaji left his wife in his sister's house and headed to the Bhiman post. His sister told us that he left about two hours after the wedding ceremony, as he was on duty that night. He had the next day off and planned to spend it with his wife. The couple did not even get a chance to speak to each other properly after the wedding.

l Pradip Dangol did not show up at his home in Sindhupalchok on 6 or 7 August, though he had promised his wife that he would come to take her to her parents' house in Hetauda. She waited for two days, but her husband did not arrive. She was angry at times. She tried to console herself thinking that something must have come up to delay him. In the end it was the body of her husband that was brought home on 9 August. She has a two-month-old son to raise.

l The Maoists had taken their medics along for the attack on Sandhikharka. They also rounded all the security officials and took them to the cottage and small industry office, where some of the wounded security officials were treated. According to Tikaram Pradhan, a policeman now receiving medical treatment in Pokhara, the Maoists held about 100 security personnel in that room for about two hours. Their medics administered some primary care inside, but the building was also being bombed and shot at from outside.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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