Siraha, December 16
A settlement inhabited by Dalits for the three generations was sold due to wrong recommendation provided by the Ward Office at Fulbariya Maharatole of Mirchaiya Municipality, Siraha.
A real estate entrepreneur bought the land after Ward Chair Ram Kumar Yadav issued a recommendation saying the land had no human settlement. The locals, however, said money was paid to the land owner where they have been residing for the past 90 years.
The news that the land they have been living on has been sold has shocked the Dalit community. They have been visiting the ward office, municipality, revenue office and rights activists seeking help. Around 28 Dalit families are living in the land.
Ghuran Mahara, 65, said that they had been living without land ownership certificate as the land owner did not transfer land ownership though his father had paid the money for the land to the landlord. “My father paid money to land owner but the land was not transferred to our names. Now, the landowners’ grandchildren have sold the land without notice.
According to Bisuniya Mahara, his father had paid the money to land owner Ram Chandra Sah of Kalyanpur Jabdi. “Sah delayed transfer of the land ownership. After his death, his grand children sold the land without notice,” Bisuniya stated. He accused the ward chair of abetting in rendering them landless.
Victims say Ram Chandra’s son too had ignored and delayed passing the land. Grand children Shrawan Kumar Sah, Dip Narayan, Satya Narayan and Rameswor Sah sold the six kattha land to real estate entrepreneur Suresh Kumar Sah of Raghunathpur of Sabaila Municipality, Dhanusha 21 days ago.
Meanwhile, ward Chair Ram Kumar Yadav insisted that he always favoured Dalits and had given the recommendation since he did not have any idea that there was a Dalit settlement on the land. Yadav admitted his mistake and pledged to do everything possible to give the land back to the Dalits.
Though the Dalit settlement is facilitated with water, electricity and road, the ward office had issued recommendation of the land describing it as without any settlement and road access.
A version of this article appears in print on December 17, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.