Gurkha hero’s widow facing deportation

Saturday Dec 13

Campaigners are rallying to stop the widow and children of a Gurkha killed in action in Afghanistan from being deported.

Colour Sergeant Krishna Dura, of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, based at Shorncliffe Barracks, Folkestone, died last month in the Musa Qala district of Helmand.

The vehicle in which he was travelling was struck by a roadside bomb.

Now the soldier’s family face the threat of leaving the country which has become their home.

They live in Canterbury MP Julian Brazier’s constituency, and the Tory politician has given his backing for them to be allowed to stay in the UK.

He said: “I am appalled and outraged that anyone could think it fair or humane even to think of treating the family of a fallen hero this way.

“Krishna Dura, who has made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of his country, should be able to rest in the knowledge that that country will treat his dependants in a fair and honourable manner.

“His wife has long been settled here and both his children were born here.

“This is therefore their home and I urge the Government to treat their case with the compassion and humanity that it deserves. I have written to the Home Office minister myself, urging that they should be allowed to stay.”

The motion was proposed by two councillors at a meeting of Canterbury council last week, one of whom, Cllr Brian Staley, is a long-time supporter of the Gurkhas and is aiming to set up a new charity to support war victims and promote peace.

He said the situation facing the dead soldier’s family was bleak unless British supporters stepped in to help them.

“The soldier who was killed was his parents’ only child. There is no pension in Nepal – it is a very poor country, so now they will have no means of support.

“It is up to us to help people in this situation.

“It is always women and children who suffer most in wartime, and I would like this foundation to help victims of war in all situations.”

Shepway councillor Peter Carroll of the Gurkha Justice campaign, which in September won a High Court battle for veterans’ right to stay in the UK, said the MP would receive the group’s “wholehearted support”.

He said: “The family should be allowed to stay, there’s no question about it. The Government were given three months after the High Court ruling to come up with a new policy and we are awaiting what the outcome will be.

“I just hope it’s not a fudge or a half measure, such as requiring Gurkhas and their families to stay only after serving for a particular length of time.

“This demonstrates how Gurkha families have been treated horrendously. The man died, for God’s sake!”

Colour Sergeant Krishnabahadur Dura, 36, came from the Lamjung
district of Nepal and was enlisted into the British Army in 1992.

He was quickly promoted through the ranks and then selected for the Gurkha Reinforcement Company with 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment. He served with distinction before joining The Royal Gurkha Rifles in 1997.

An experienced senior non-commissioned officer, he had tours in Bosnia Herzegovina, East Timor, Sierra Leone (twice) and was on his third tour to Afghanistan.

He was promoted to Colour Sergeant last year and singled out for selection to form the battalion’s sniper platoon.

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Chris Darby said at the time of C/Sgt Krishan’s death that he was “an exceptional soldier, a gifted leader and consummate professional.”

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