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The family of Bipin Joshi, a Nepali student who was taken into hostage by Hamas in Gaza pleads for international voices to demand his release. The family arrived from over 500 km to the capital Kathmandu, to raise voice for their son. 

Joshi’s parents visited Kathmandu to meet Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, marking one of several occasions they have met with him. At the meeting, the family handed over a letter to the Prime Minister, urging the Nepal government to take action for the safe release of their son, whom they have not heard from since October 7, 2023. 

“Our son Bipin Joshi, who participated in the Learn and Earn program from Sudurpaschim University, embarked on a journey to Israel on September 12, 2023. Tragically, less than a month into his stay, on October 7, he was taken captive by the Hamas group during an incident involving Israel and Hamas. It’s important to bring this to your attention. Bipin, along with his fellow classmates, ventured to Israel last year as part of his university studies, supported by governmental supervision. Their goal was to contribute to the agricultural sector back home by applying the skills acquired in Israel,” Joshi’s parents—Mahanand Joshi and Padma Joshi wrote in the letter. 

“With no end in sight to the ongoing conflict and turmoil in the region since the incident, we find ourselves grappling with the bleak reality of our son’s uncertain fate, both physically and emotionally,” the letter included. 

Speaking to WION, the family of Bipin Joshi expressed their dissatisfaction, stating that the Nepal government is not exerting sufficient efforts for his release.

“It has been over 7 months since the tragic incident unfolded. Despite reaching out to various Nepali authorities, we remain without any updates regarding his whereabouts. I urge the Nepali government and the international community to take action to secure his release” Prakash Joshi, brother of Bipin Joshi. 

Prakash Joshi says, they have not been able to get in contact with Bipin since the attack, “We became aware of his hostage situation through CCTV footage released by the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces). His health and well-being remain unknown to us.”

The family implores the authorities to ascertain Bipin’s condition, expressing concern over his numerous health issues and questioning whether he is receiving adequate food and medication.

“For more than half a year, we’ve been tirelessly reaching out to various authorities. We’ve engaged with the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, President, and even the Israel Embassy. While the feedback has been encouraging, there has been tangible progress. Despite this, we persist in our daily meetings with officials, with hope and determination,” Pushpa Joshi, sister of Bipin Joshi told WION. 

Mahanand Joshi, father of Bipin Joshi is optimistic that during the upcoming visit of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Nepal on April 23, they may receive an update or some progress regarding the status of his son.

Nepal has earlier made several attempts seeking assistance of Qatar and the officials continue to meet with the Ambassador in Nepal. 

On March 20, Qatar Ambassador Mishal Mohammed Ali Al-Ansari paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha, and the release of Bipin Joshi was discussed. 

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani had told then Foreign Minister NP Saud that all efforts are being made for the release, during Saud’s visit to Doha to attend the 21st Doha Forum. 

The October 7 attack left 10 Nepali students dead and four others injured, who had reached the West Asian country under the ‘Learn and Earn Programme’. 

Joshi is one of the 17 Nepali students who were living at Kibbutz Alumim in southern Israel, close to the Palestinian enclave Gaza, and came under attack from the Islamist group that rules the strip, as per the Nepal’s Foreign Ministry.