By Prem Raj Simkhada,Kalikot, Oct. 9: Malkot, a village in Ward No. 6 of Narharinath Rural Municipality in Kalikot district had turned violent on the day of the local elections in May 2017, as the cadres of the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal tried to stop the election.
One individual died and three other locals were injured in the exchange of bullets between the party cadres and security forces. Dan Bahadur Batala, a local of Malkot, was one of the individuals who sustained bullet injuries. Dhanrup Batala, brother of Dan Bahadur, who was also a candidate for the ward chairman, died in the exchange of bullets.
Locals informed that the injured individuals were innocent. Dan Bahadur had sustained four bullets in his leg when he tried to save his brother Dhanrup after seeing him getting shot. Dhanrup died on the spot.
“Dan Bahadur was not a cadre of the party boycotting the elections nor was he a representative of the state mobilised for conducting the elections. However, he got shot four times. He was rushed home and did not receive any proper treatment as there was no health centre around,” said Kali Bahadur Mahatara, chairman of Himchuli Agriculture Cooperatives Limited.
“In the hope of receiving treatment and being able to walk and work as normally as before, Dan Bahadur succumbed to the gunshot wounds and breathed his last on August 27, 2022,” said Mahatara.
Since then, Supari Sahakari Batala, wife of Dan Bahadur, has been the sole parent of three of their sons – 10-year-old Amit, nine-year-old Chakra and seven-year-old Manoj.
“My husband got shot for reaching the polling station to cast his vote as a citizen of the country even when our family could hardly afford a two-day meal throughout the year. He did not receive any support for treatment and died. I do not have a job. We do not have ancestral property. We have nothing,” said Supari.
Recalling her memories with her late husband, Supari, with teary eyes, exclaimed, “My life will be successful if I can bring up my sons and help them pursue a proper profession.”
Supari stressed that she felt hopeless as none of the three tiers of the government – federal, provincial and local – helped in Dan Bahadur’s treatment for four years and the helplessness continued a year later since her husband’s death.