Haliyas launch agitation

Dipayal, July 15:

Demanding emancipation from the Haliya system, Haliyas in seven far-western districts launched an agitation today.

As a part of the protest programme, Haliyas in Baitadi, Dadeldhura, Darchula, Achham, Doti, Bajhang and Bajura staged sit-in protest in front of their respective district administration offices and padlocked land revenue offices.

Saying that the agitation would last for 15 days, they warned of severe protest programmes if their demands were not met. "Though the Kamaiya system has been eliminated in the Tarai," Gorakh Sarki of Haliya Muktisamaj at Doti said, "the Haliya system is still existing in the far-western hilly districts. This prompted us to launch the agitation." Accusing the government of not being serious about their demands, the Haliyas threatened that they would also capture public land if their demands went unheard.

It is estimated that around 1,276 Haliyas are living in the far-western region.

Haliya system is a kind of bonded labour just like the Kamaiya system that was abolished by the government some eight years ago.