Diplomatic efforts are on for safe release of Bipin Joshi, says Minister SaudThe government has taken diplomatic measures for his safe release, Saud says. Joshi is believed to have been held hostage after the Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.
The whereabouts of Bipin Joshi of Kanchanpur, who has been missing for 43 days from Israel, remain unknown.
As the Israeli government claims that Joshi, a Nepali student missing since the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched armed attacks on Israel on October 7, has been held hostage by Hamas militants, his family back home desperately awaits his safe return.
On Saturday, Joshi’s parents—Mahananda and Padma—met with Foreign Minister NP Saud in Kanchanpur and requested that the government take all necessary steps for bringing their son home safely.
Earlier this month, the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel told the Post that Joshi was among the 122 foreign nationals in Hamas’ captivity. However, they have yet to locate Joshi. “We clarify that a Nepali citizen is among the captives held by Hamas,” Eylon Levy, spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, told the Post in Tel Aviv earlier this month.
The surprise attack last month left 10 Nepali students, who had reached the West Asian country under the ‘Learn and Earn Programme’, dead and four others injured.
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, according to the foreign ministry.
A senior foreign ministry official said that Nepali Ambassador to Israel Kanta Rijal and Nepali Ambassador to Qatar Naresh Bikram Dhakal were instructed to take up the matter of Joshi’s safe release with the Israeli and Qatari officials. Rijal met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and other senior officials and took up the matter but there has been no progress, the official added.
Similarly, according to the Nepali Embassy in Qatar, Dhakal also met with senior Qatari officials twice and sought their help in safely freeing Joshi but they have received no word from Qatari officials. Qatar hosts Hamas’ political office.
Foreign Minister Saud told Joshi’s parents that the government was trying to secure their son’s safe release. “According to the Israeli government, Joshi is alive. We have requested the US Secretary of State and the foreign minister of Qatar for his early and safe release,” Saud reportedly told the couple.
Saud, who recently visited the United States, is said to have requested Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to help release Joshi safely. “We have been informed that he [Joshi] is in Hamas’ captivity in Gaza,” Saud reportedly told Joshi’s parents. “We have demanded his security and asked the US Secretary of State for his safe release.”
Joshi’s parents have already submitted a memorandum to Saud through the district administration office, Kanchanpur for the safe release of their son. Joshi, who was pursuing a degree in agriculture science at Sudurpaschim University, had left for Israel on September 13 under the “Learn and Earn Programme” and was taken hostage by Hamas during the October 7 deadly attack against Israel. As many as 49 students from the same university had reached Israel under the programme. Of them, ten were killed during Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on October 7. The mortal remains of the students have already been repatriated. Following the attacks, the government evacuated over 250 Nepali nationals from Israel.
“We have also requested the International Federation of Red Cross and discussed the matter with the Qatari ambassador this morning,” Saud said in Kanchanpur. “We have attached utmost priority to this issue.”