KANCHANPUR – Parents of Bipin Joshi have spent the last 52 days in anxious anticipation. Joshi is one among the Nepali students taken captive by the Hamas militants in course of their October 7 attack in southern Israel.
On that day, Hamas-led Palestinian militants launched a multi-pronged invasion of southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. The surprise attack comprised a barrage of rockets, while around 3,000 militants breached the Gaza–Israel barrier and attacked Israeli military bases and civilian population centres. At least 846 Israeli civilians and 324 soldiers and police were killed during the attacks, while an estimated 240 Israeli and foreign nationals were taken as hostages to the Gaza Strip, according to international media reports.
Ten Nepali students were killed in this attack.
Ever since, Bipin’s parents and other family members are keeping track of every bit and piece of news coming from Israel. Their eyes are glued to TV news since Israel and Hamas agreed on a four days’ ceasefire on November 24. The ceasefire deal mediated by Qatar also includes exchange of hostages held in Gaza in return for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Bipin’s parents desperately hope that their dear son would be among those to be released.
The hostages have been released in groups of a dozen or so each day in exchange for groups of Palestinian prisoners. On last Sunday, 40 Israelis were released by Hamas. In addition 17 Thai citizens and one Filipino – farm workers employed in southern Israel when they were seized – were freed under a separate agreement.
The ceasefire was extended by two more days till Wednesday. Although Hamas has released during the ceasefire period some of the people it has taken captive, there’s no any news about Bipin till date, which has heightened his parents’ anxiety.
Bipin’s parents met with Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Prakash Saud who was in his home district Kanchanpur on Wednesday and requested him to take immediate initiatives for the safe release of their son.
“I am glued to the TV news all the time in the hope that my son Bipin will be released and call us. Our days are spent watching news,” said Padma, Bipin’s distraught mother. The government says that it has been making diplomatic initiatives by various means for securing Bipin’s safe release.
However, Bipin’s father Mahananda feels that the government should have further intensified its efforts for securing his son’s release at the earliest. “I feel that Bipin would have already been released two or three days back, had the government made vigorous efforts towards that end from the beginning,” a desperate Mahananda said.
Meanwhile, Minister Saud has pledged to intensify efforts from the government- level to ensure Bipin’s release, during his meeting with Joshi’s parents in Mahendranagar of Kanchanpur on Wednesday. According to Minister’s Secretariat, he is set to visit Qatar on December 9. When in Qatar, Minister Saud will request Qatari officials for taking special initiatives for Bipin’s release.
On November 24, Minister had specially urged Qatar’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, who had arrived here on November 23 on a two-day official visit, to take initiatives for the release of Bipin Joshi from the captivity of Hamas.
In response, the Qatar’s state minister assured of his prompt initiations for Joshi’s release. In Qatar, the Foreign Minister will also attend a two-day 21st edition of Doha Forum commencing on December 10. -RSS