Displaced in Siraha yet to get captured land back

Siraha, January 13:

Displaced people of Siraha have not got their seized land back even after the signing of the peace treaty.

The Maoists should give back the seized land to the land-owners and allow the displaced people to return home, the peace treaty states.

Upendraman Prajapati of Mahadewa Portaha-1, who has been living in district headquarters Siraha for some years, is finding it difficult to feed his family of 10. The Maoists had captured his house and land on November 8, 2001. The Prajapati family is still waiting for the day when it can return home safely and respectably.

Former DDC chairman Umesh Chandra Das, who was also displaced to the district headquarters a few years ago, said the displaced people are reluctant to return to their villages as the Maoists are not abiding by the code of conduct honestly.

Hundreds of people of the district were displaced during the conflict. Siraha district representative of the Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) Dev Raj Pokharel said the Maoists captured 1,200 bighas of land belonging to 80 people of the district during the conflict. No cultivation was done on the Maoist-captured land.

The Maoists’ Siraha district secretary Avinash said the seized lands and houses would not be returned until the formation of the interim government. The displaced, who were hoping to return home in the changed scenario of the country, are disappointed as neither the CPN-Maoist nor the government is concerned about their re-establishment. Even if the displaced get to return to their homes, they will face lots of difficulties as they will have to start from scratch again, Chandeshwor Yadav of the Human Rights and Peace Society said. He urged the government to take initiatives to help displaced people return home and provide them financial support to restart their lives.