Govt, freed Kamaiyas to resume talks today

Kathmandu, January 2:

The talks between Freed Kamaiya Action Committee and the government ended today without any conclusion and will resume tomorrow.

The FKAC was led by Pashupati Chaudhari and Chabi Raj Pant led the government team.

“The government team has conceded that it will have the government take definite cabinet decisions on the issues which are being worked out,” Chaudhari, who is here with representatives from different freed Kamaiya camps, told The Himalayan Times.

The talks, which began around noon, ended just before 3 pm. They will resume tomorrow at 11 am at the Ministry of Land Reforms and Management.

While Pant assured the freed Kamaiyas that they would be rehabilitated in the best possible way, they are least likely to be settled on prime public land, along highways or in towns.

“Yet another concern is the but in the sentence which says ‘land will be given but not alongside highway, in urban areas or prime public land’,” Chaudhari lamented, saying, “We will leave Tinkune until our demands were met.”

Main demand forwarded by the freed Kamaiyas is to ensure their representation in the team formed to resolve the freed Kamaiya imbroglio. Other demands include taking a fresh headcount of freed Kamaiyas and institutional assistance to them on the basis of identity card.

Nearly 250 freed Kamaiyas had on Sunday pitched tents on the stretch of land in Tinkune to press the government to pay heed to them and solve the problem conclusively.

He was also of the view that the latest pressure tactics will not be given up until the government does not come up with its policy on the issue of rehabilitating the freed Kamaiyas once and for all.

The nagging issue of freed Kamaiyas goes back to July 2000 when the government banned keeping Kamaiyas and announced freedom for all Kamiayas from their landlord.

While the government has been claiming that the successive governments have rehabilitated some 18,000 freed Kamaiyas, activists have alleged discrepancies leaving out genuine claimants owing to organised fraud.