Koshi victims’ sit-in continues

Rajbiraj, August 27

Province 2 minister of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives Shailendra Prasad Sah today expressed support for the victims of flood on the Koshi Rivers, who have been on a relay hunger strike for the past 11-days.

The victims have sought full implementation of the Koshi Agreement inked between Nepal and India, and compensation for their land as per the decades-old agreement.

Minister Sah who visited the hunger strike site today said that demands of the Koshi victims were right and expressed support for the same. He also pledged that as provincial government minister, he would see to it that the demands of the victims were addressed by the federal government.

The minister shared the stage with the agitators for about one hour and the victims were elated with the minister’s support.

Victims from three districts — Saptari, Sunsari and Udayapur — started their indefinite hunger strike from August 17 near the Saptakoshi Barrage control room, putting forth a list of three demands.

They said that they were deprived of compensation, as per agreement reached between Nepal and India in 1954.

“We want compensation for our lands used during the construction of the barrage and the damage we had to face from floods in the river, besides the full implementation of the Koshi Agreement signed between Nepal and India decades ago,” said the Koshi River Encroachment, Inundation Victims’ Struggle Committee coordinator Mahidev Prasad Chaudhary.

Chaudhary added that the strike wouldn’t stop until their demands were met.

The struggle committee had submitted a memorandum to the prime minster through the chief district officer on July 29 seeking fulfilment of their demands. “As our memo to the PM drew a blank, we had no option but to continue with the strike,” said committee member Ghanashyam Jha.

According to Chaudhary, stern agitation programmes such as fast-unto-death, chakkajam and district bandh will be organised in the next phase.