Dhangadhi: In a heart-wrenching turn of events, seven students from the Far West region who had traveled to Israel for educational pursuits have met a tragic fate.
These young scholars fell victim to a devastating Hamas attack in the conflict-ridden Seidot Negev region of Israel. All the deceased individuals were students, and their untimely demise has left their families and communities in mourning. On Sunday, the Nepali Embassy in Israel issued an official statement, confirming the loss of ten lives, including seven students from the Far West region, with one person still missing. Four individuals who sustained injuries are currently receiving medical care at a local hospital, while two have been accounted for and are safe.
The Nepali Embassy is actively coordinating with the Israeli government to facilitate the repatriation of the students' remains to Nepal. The victims have been identified as Narayan Prasad Neupane from Ghodaghodi Municipality-4, Ganesh Kumar Nepali from Jaiprithvi Municipality-6 in Bajhang, Ashish Chaudhary from Baunia-3 in Kailali, Dipeshraj Bista from Lekam-5 in Darchula, Rajan Phulra from Pachanali-3 in Doti, Padam Thapa from Lamikhal-8 in Doti, and Lokendra Singh from Malikarjun-4 in Darchula.
Dhan Bahadur Chaudhary from Tikapur-9 in Kailali is currently under medical treatment at a local hospital. Meanwhile, Bipin Joshi from Bhimdatta Municipality-3 in Kanchanpur remains missing, causing immense distress to his family. Birendra Chaudhary from Trishakti-4 in Bhajani Kailali is reported to be safe.
These students had embarked on their journey to the Seidot Negev region on August 18th and 19th as part of an 11-month 'Earn and Learn Program' designed for experiential learning. They were eighth-semester students from the Faculty of Agriculture at Sudurpaschim University. The university had dispatched a total of 49 Nepalese students to the Seidot Negev Agricultural Training Center, with 11 among them being female students. These students were further divided into six groups and placed in different agricultural farms, with 32 of them taking shelter in bunkers within various agricultural facilities.
The names of the unfortunate victims began circulating on social media on Sunday evening following the sudden attack in Israel. Among the ten casualties, two were identified as Narayan Prasad Neupane from Ghodaghodi Municipality-4 in Janakpur and Ashish Chaudhary from Bardagoria Rural Municipality-3. Narayan, who had experienced the loss of his birth mother in childhood, was nurtured and educated by his younger mother. He had been pursuing undergraduate studies at Sudurpaschim University's Faculty of Agricultural Sciences in Tikapur for the past three years.
Families of nine affected students, including Lokendra Bahadur Bista, have urgently appealed for their safe return, particularly due to their proximity to the Gaza area, which has been targeted by Hamas attacks. As the Nepalese students are approximately 255 kilometers away from the bunker, relatives are earnestly urging the government to swiftly initiate efforts to relocate them to safety.
Ashish Chaudhary departed for Israel from Tribhuvan International Airport on August 25th. At 25 years of age, he had completed his BSc in Agriculture from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at Far Western Regional University. Tragically, Ashish, a resident of Joshipur Rural Municipality-5 in Kailali, lost his life in Israel after an 11-month stint in the country.
The Joshi family is currently grappling with immense anxiety, as they have been unable to establish contact with their son, Bipin Joshi, since Saturday. Bipin hails from Bhimdatta Municipality-3 in Kanchanpur, and his sudden disappearance has caused great distress to his mother and sister. While his mother is a teacher at Udayadev Secondary School in Bedkot Municipality-9 Sundarpur, his father resides in Bajhang for work purposes. The family is beseeching the government to launch a swift search and rescue mission to bring Bipin back home safely.
This tragic incident has claimed the lives of ten Nepali students in a terrorist attack perpetrated by the Palestinian rebel group, Hamas, against Israel.