Nepal | January 25, 2021

Khokana locals stage protest

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, April 1

Locals of Khokana today staged a protest at Sikhili, where the Nepali Army has set up a temporary camp for the construction of Kathmandu-Tarai expressway.

The demonstrators in traditional attire played traditional musical instruments to showcase their cultural traditions.

They said they were the indigenous people of Kathmandu and so the government should recognise them as living heritage. They also urged the government to shun any development project that would destroy their cultural identity.

Locals have been organising protest programmes for the last few months here, claiming that the outer ring road project, Bagmati corridor project, smart city project and a transmission line project that pass through the area would destroy the cultural and historical identity of Khokana.

These projects, they claimed, would pass through Ku-Dey and Sikali hillock destroying huge swathes of arable land and more than 60 per cent of historic sites.

Locals believe that the Newar civilisation originated in Khokana during the Kirat-era.

Organisations like Nepal Cultural Restoration Campaign, Save Nepa Valley Campaign, International Newa Society and Khokana Public Concern Committee expressed solidarity with the protest programme.

Speaking at the programme, Asoj Maharjan, a local of Khokana, said, “Locals of Khokana will not be lured by compensation offered by the government.”

Locals also demanded that the place be recognised as a live museum and the government carry out excavation in the area to dig archaeological facts about the ancient city.

A version of this article appears in print on April 02, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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