Kathmandu, April 17
Seventeen cadres of Bibeksheel Nepali Party, including its Chair Ujjwal Thapa, were arrested by police from Baluwatar today.
They were heading towards the prime minister’s official residence in a bid to plant the national flag on the state-owned land in Lalita Niwas.
According to police, they tried to stop a few dozen cadres of the party, along with a few locals, from entering the PM’s residence holding the national flags. But, as the party cadres did not heed the request of police, some of them were arrested and taken to Metropolitan Police Circle, Kamal Pokhari. However, police released them later in the evening.
The party has been accusing the government of illegally supporting the ‘land mafia’ in transferring the state-owned land in Lalita Niwas in individuals’ names. A probe committee led by Sharada Prasad Trital had found that ‘land mafia,’ in collusion with officials of the Land Revenue Office, Dillibazar, had transferred ownership of 113.3 ropani public land in the names of individuals between 1991 and 2017.
The committee formed by the government to study cases of land grab had concluded that a decision taken by the Cabinet of the government led by Madhav Kumar Nepal in 2010 had facilitated transfer of public land, including 113 ropani in Baluwatar, in the names of individuals.
The Cabinet decision on 4 May 2010, proposed by the then ministry of land reforms and management, gave the Land Revenue Office, Dillibazaar, the authority to register and transfer ownership of land without following due process. CPN-ML leader Dambar Shrestha led the ministry at that time.
Earlier, Bibeksheel Sajha Party had also staged a demonstration at the venue protesting the government’s involvement in the case.
A version of this article appears in print on April 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.