Israeli Embassy denied visa to Darjeeling women calling citizens of Nepal

In a shocking development, the Israeli Embassy has denied visas to 10 women from Darjeeling alleging them to be Nepalese nationals.  The women, who had been waiting for their visas to fly to Israel to work there, received a shock when the embassy turned down their requests calling them “citizens of Nepal”. The women including Radhika Rai, Priya Thapa, Reshma Gurung, Ranju Rai and Kavita Sharma, among others had reached Delhi four months ago. They said despite furnishing all the necessary documents, including their Indian citizenship certificates, the embassy denied them the visas.

Expressing utter disbelief and pleading helplessness over the baseless and ‘hurtful’ denial of the visas, Priya Thapa said they are feeling “politically victimised”. She said social organisations and political parties should step forward to speak against this “gross injustice”. “We are being tagged as foreigners in our own land, while many from Nepal are flying to Israel with fake Indian citizenship certificates,” said Thapa, which is true to a far extent. She said the 10 women had invested a lot of money to get a job abroad, but their aspirations have been shattered by the “unexpected” development.

Livid over the denial, Thapa added, “We feel humiliated as our visa applications have been turned down on a baseless allegation, that of being Nepalese citizens. Darjeeling and its people seem to have no recognition and identity in Delhi.”

The 10 women hail from Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Mirik, Sukna, Salbari and Sonada, and almost all of them had taken loans in the hope of repaying them quickly. Even as the lack of job opportunities in Darjeeling is forcing the hill folk to venture outside the hills and even abroad in search for work, the foreigner tag has only added to the smouldering resentment of the people, which, if not addressed quickly and in earnest, may conflagrate into uncontrollable proportions.

Source: EOI

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