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Nepalis being sent to Afghanistan illegally

By Devendra Bhattarai-Rabin Khadka, 27, of Lamjung and Bir Bahadur Gurung, 30, of Kathmandu have been making rounds of various hotels and centres of New Delhi for the past seven months after a group duped thousands of rupees from them promising a good job at a security force in Kabul, Afghanistan . The duo quit their Nepal Army job for the prospect and now the agents are at large with their passports and about Rs 700,000 in cash.

“After being frustrated in the search for the person, I am taking shelter at a relative’s in Faridabad,” Khadka told the Post. “They are demanding Rs 150,000 rupees for giving my passport back.” Khadka, with help from Aarabi Khadka of Bharat Nepal Ekata Manch and Gopal Thapa of Prawasi Nepali Sangh, nabbed one of the frauds and presented him to the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi . But despite promising to bring his accomplices before justice, the accused Ramesh Pun of Myagdi has not come into contact yet.

“I have submitted a complaint at the embassy against Subin (Dil Bahadur) Gurung of Sindhupalchok and Bharat Adhikari of Lamjung but nothing has materialised,” Khadka said, adding that several people in Nepal are also being cheated with the promise of jobs in Afghanistan with a monthly salary of Rs 100,000. Like Khadka, 45-year-old Krishna (Nar Bahadur) Sunar of Pokhara has also been cheated with false promises by the same trio of Pun, Gurung and Adhikari. An ex-Indian Army official, Sunar was taken to Afghanistan on May 5 but upon reaching there, he was taken to a dark camp where more than a dozen like him were housed.

“In the camp, I witnessed that several people, including Suk Bahadur Sunar of Dhading, Indra Giri of Morang, Hom Bahadur Karki of Parbat and Sumesh Thapa of Dehradun, were living in miserable conditions,” Sunar said. “I was able to return with help from my brother who works in the American embassy in Kabul.” Sunar, who returned only last week, also warned that Hom Bahadur Karki could be in jail right now as threatened by an Afghani agent. “We were kept prisoners in a dark room in Kabul,” Sunar said, adding, “We had to pay $15 to the agent who brought us rice and pulses.” He said he also had to pay $2,200 to customs office in Kabul as fine for his illegal status to return. Besides, he had paid Rs 764,000 to the agent who lured him to Kabul.

Counsellor at the Nepali embassy in New Delhi Rajendra Man Shrestha said people should themselves be aware of such risks while travelling to destinations prohibited by the government. “We advise on booking the culprits under human trafficking offence in such cases,” he said.—(eKantipur)

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