It was October 24, 2002. On a crisp autumn afternoon, security forces from Nepal Army and Armed Police stopped a bus Tanka Prasad Tharu was riding on for what was supposed to be a routine check. It was the height of the Maoist insurgency, and Tharu was on his way home to Shreepur, in Bardiya, from Nepalgunj. For reasons he still cannot fathom, Tharu said the soldiers singled him out. He was dragged out of the bus and taken into custody, suspected of having connections with the Maoist rebels.

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