Refugee Testimony

Name: Chudamani Adhikari

Age : 49 Male

Address in Bhutan : Vill : Katarey, Block: Nichula, Kalikhola , Bhutan

Refugee Camp Add.: Beldangi II. Extension Camp, Sector B3, Hut No. 13/14

On February 21,1991, there was a meeting at our village headman's residence in Nichula. During the meeting the village headman Mr. Sun Man announced that all the villagers were to submit applications to Dungpa (Sub Divisional Officer) stating that they wanted to leave the country. He further warned that anyone failing to submit the same would be severely dealt with. The very day, I wrote an application to the Dungpa stating that I would not leave the country. On March 1, 1991, I personally went to him and requested him to allow me to live in my homeland where generations of my forefathers had lived . But the Dungpa angrily threatened me that I better follow what I was asked to do by the mondal (village headman) or else be punished. When I repeated my plea, policemen were called in, who dragged me out of his office. I was then taken into police custody at around 11.00 A.M. While I was left alone in the cell, three army men came in at around 5 P.M. and started coercing me to write the application for filling the Voluntary Migration Form (VMF). When I declined, they started beating me mercilessly with wooden rolls until I lost my consciousness. When I opened my eyes the following morning, I discovered myself still in the police custody all alone.

For the next five days, I was kept without food. On the fifth day, the soldiers came to the cell and began intimidating me to write the application. Tired and exhausted, I was not able to bear anymore of the torture and I wrote down the application. Soon after that I was released and came back to my house. After seven days, a group of police personnel came to my house to summon me to the office in Sarbhang. There they had the"Voluntary Migration Form" filled, and forced me to sign on a document, the contents of which I did not understand. Out of sheer fear I signed it. This was done in the Dungpa's office in Sarbhang who then ordered me to submit the Voluntary Migration Form to the District Officer (Dzongda). The following day, I was given an utterly low compensation for my property. While I was being handed over the money, I was asked to smile and say that I was leaving my country on my own free will, facing the video camera. When I refused to do so, the policemen who were managing the affair under the supervision of the Dungpa and the Dzongda, beat me hard on my back. Out of extreme fear, I complied to the order and the authority watched the scene mockingly. After the task was completed, the Dzongda, Mr. Penjor Dorji ordered me to leave the country within five days. For fear of persecution and in order to save my family members from the brutality of the local administration, I left the country leaving my home and property behind. This was not just my fate, all our village folks fell prey to such eviction exercise and they now live like me as refugees in the camps in eastern Nepal.

Refer the samples of Bhutanese Citizenship Identity Cards and Land Tax Receipts.

Government circulars and notices directing evictions