Doti, March 19
After declaring the Maoist war anniversary as the National People’s War Day, the government led by the former rebel leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal has recently announced people dead in the war as national martyrs.
On the district-wise list, there are 63 people from the Doti district of Sudurpaschim, the 42nd being Chakra Bahadur Mateli.
But, you may be surprised to know that Mateli is still alive!
A resident of Badikedar rural municipality-2 of the district, the 59-year-old Mateli sarcastically says, “I don’t have any complaints that I’m a living martyr… After all, I am living as a dead one — hit by three bullets, my hands and legs don’t work; I am just breathing.”
Mateli was attacked by a Nepal Army troop on May 2, 2002. “They left me thinking I died, but I was alive.”
He says he repeatedly urged the Maoist party to ensure his livelihood, but the party did not listen to him.
Kamal Bahadur Gadsila, the coordinator of the party in the district, says Mateli’s name was listed mistakenly, adding the party would take initiative to make a correction.