65 families left high and dry as court verdict relieves them of legally purchased land

RAJBIRAJ: They own lands according to the land registration certificates (Lalpurja) they have. But, the District Land Revenue Office (DLRO) has already transferred ownership of their lands to someone else.

As many as 65 families of Bhardaha VDC-2 in Saptari district are anxious that they might be forced to leave their land anytime as the DLRO has already relieved them of the ownership.

The Office had transferred those land plots to the name of Budur Mandal – who already passed away by now – following an Appellate Court verdict.

Mandal had sold his six bigaha land to some locals in 1988 and these 65 families are occupying those land plots after purchasing them from either Mandal or those who brought the lands from him.

Immediately after selling his land, Mandal divided his property among four sons, on September 6, 1988.

His wife Jangali Devi, however, claimed that the division was not fair and moved the District Court demanding intervention.

The case remained unsettled for 17 years. It was on May 12, 2005 that the Appeals Court pronounced that the division, as claimed by Jangali Devi, was unfair. It ordered the concerned authority to bring all properties registered with the name of Mandal together again and re-divide among heirs.

The old Mandal couple, however, had already died by then.

In compliance with the Court order, the DLRO transferred ownership of all lands previously owned by Mandal to his family again, leaving these 65 families high and dry.

The victims organised a press conference in the district headquarters Rajbiraj and shared their agony today.