JAJARKOT, OCTOBER 4 Some 125 Dalit households of Katigaon of ward 11 of Bheri municipality shared their plight with Minister of Forest and Environment Shakti Bahadur Basnet. They complained that they were displaced for failing to pay back the loan they had taken for survival. The loan taken from local money lenders has gone beyond their control as the high interest rate has continued to pile up. The local money lenders have now forced them to leave the village, according to a memo submitted to the minister. “Many have gone to India for work, but they still cannot pay the interest,” said rights worker Shila Nepali. Every household now has more than 500,000 rupees in debt. We had taken loan for daily subsistence, now it has increased and gone beyond our control, said one of the victims Jit Bahadur BK. In the memo, they have requested the minister to probe the issue and guarantee the livelihood of Dalit community members.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on October 5, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.