Irate Panchthar locals picket DDC office, stage protest

Phidim, September 11

Expressing dissatisfaction with the recommendation made by Local Body Restructuring Technical Committee, the locals of Yasok, Ranigaun and Syabrumba VDCs picketed District Development Committee Office in Panchthar today.

The committee had earlier recommended Mehelbote of Angsarang as the centre of Kammayak village assembly; although Yasok, according to disgruntled locals, is better suited since it is equipped with necessary infrastructure and government buildings. There are also higher secondary schools, campuses and necessary open spaces for development in Yasok.

Political activists, civil society, stakeholders among others, from the VDCs thronged the office using 83 motorbikes and three pick-up vans in the protest.

Devendra Lawati, Struggle Committee Coordinator, said that they were compelled to protest against the authority for sidelining Yasoka, which lies in the proximity of all the VDCs, a factor that many say is important.

Durga Prasad Bamjan of Syabrumba VDC also said that district level leaders and Local Development Officer unilaterally proposed Mehelbote as the centre without consulting locals and other stakeholders. “The decision is myopic and against the interest of the locals,” said Purna Khadka of Ranigaun.

CPN-ML politburo member Dina Nath Ghimire and CPN-MC leader Ambar Singh Thapa were also seen at the demonstration.

Receiving a memorandum, Acting Local Development Officer Bhanu Bhakta Baral said that he would send the memorandum to the Local Body Restructuring Commission as it is. The Local Body Restructuring Technical Committee Panchthar had recommended five village assemblies and two municipalities in the district.

The demonstrators chanted slogans against the recommendation and marched to the office of the Nepali Congress, the CPN –UML, the CPN-MC and Limbuwan Party among others and decided that their protest would continue until the centre was shifted to Yasoka from Mehelbote.