Purni Maya Lama
Yesterday, I met Purni Maya Lama. This is what she told me. This is her story – not mine. This is what she told me.
Purni Maya Lama is from Kavre district in Nepal. Her husband Arjun was a local contractor in the district. Arjun was elected school board member In the local school, and later he became president of the board board. On day three Maoists came to the school and abducted Arjun. Arjun disappeared, and Purni did not know what had happened to him. She went from house to house of Maoist commanders in the district.
Purni wanted to know what had happened. She wanted to meet her husband. Every time she was told that it would happen soon. She was told that she would be allowed to see her husband. But nothing happened. Purni continued to go around to the houses of the Maoists.
For two years she was searching for her husband. Every time she went to see the Maoists they asked her for money. Sometimes 10,000 rupees - other times 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 or 50,000 rupees. They told her that the money would be given to her husband. After two years she realised that the Maoists were lying, and she stopped paying them. Sometimes the Maoist called her, and asked her to come to Ratna Park in Kathmandu so that they could meet. Purni was asked to bring cloth to her husband. During 2-3 years, Purni spend some 5-6 lakhs of rupees paying the Maoists. If she stopped, the Maoists would kill her husband.
Purni has two sons and four daughters. After her husband disappeared, the Maoists was threatening Purni saying that they would abduct her two sons, who at time were 21 and 15 years old. When her father in law passed away, Purni had to flee to Kathmandu to stay safe.
One day, external sources told Purni that her husband had been killed. But it was never confirmed by the Maoists. Devi’s husband had no enemies. He had no rivalries. He was a good man. The Maoists took him for no reason.
Later Purni was told that her husband got no food for seven days when we was abducted by the Maoists. The Maoists asked Arjun to dig his own grave. Arjun was asking why they can captured him? Arjun wanted to see his family before he to be executed by the Maoists. But it never happened. Arjun – Purni’s husband – was buried alive by the Maoists. It happened in Kavre district somewhere away from their home.
Purni went to many government offices and human rights offices, but she has never got any answers. If only she knew that he was dead. Devi will not do the death ritual for her husband unless she knows that he is dead.
Nothing has happened so far. Devi do not know whether she will ever know the truth? Find out what happened to her husband?
Devi went to the District Court in Kavre, but they refused to listen to her and did not take the case. Devi has also filed a case at the Supreme Court of Nepal. She gave the names of the culprits and wanted them convicted. Devi knows who killed her husband. She knows the three Maoists who came to the school and took her husband. Devi knows that several thulo manche – influential people – from Kavre district were involved in the murder of her husband.
One day Devi heard that her case had got lost at the Supreme Court, and she went and filed a case again. But nothing has happened. The Government of Nepal do not care. Devi do not know what to do. Government has mixed all kind of cases from the war. Killings should not be mixed with disappearances. Devi wants answers from the Government of Nepal. Criminals should not be allowed to move around freely. The Government will not ensure justice.
Devi has received 3 lakhs or rupees from the Government (3000 USD) in compensation. Some is getting 10 lakh or rupees. This is not fair.
Devi wants justice. She wants to know what happened. She will feel better when the criminals have been punished.
This is what Purni told me in Kathmandu on Sunday afternoon 21st September 2014.