Locals of Nayagaun face double insecurity at Nepal-India border

RANJHA: People in Nayagaun in Raptisonari Rural Municipality-4 of Banke district have been compelled to live with double insecurity due to border encroachment by the Indian side and because of timber and river-based aggregates smugglers.

Locals complained about their problems as they interacted with a study team, led by Province Assembly member of Province-5 and district chairperson of Nepal Communist Party (NCP), IP Kharel, who had gone for an on-site study of the settlement near the Nepal-India border to assess the latest situation.

Nayagaun was settled around a decade ago, but the police administration and government bodies have still not been able to reach out to the area on a regular basis.

"The Indians are encroaching upon our land near the border. They have been tilling land even at the no-man's land. If we speak up against this aggression, we get threats of eviction," a local of Khayarbhatti, Nayagaun shared.

"Whenever they get a chance, Indian nationals and the Indian paramilitary force, SSB, have no qualms crossing the border into Nepal, coming to the settlement, intimidating and harassing the locals. Our daughters and women cannot go around in the area alone. We are compelled to tolerate their aggression in our own land and settlement," he shared.

He lamented that the state has not been able to extend even the minimum basic facilities and services to Nayagaun. The locals have demanded setting up of a police post and deputing a team of the Armed Police Force for defending the border.

Kharel said that Nayagaun locals have taken upon themselves the responsibility of guarding the border. However, they, who have been defending the border, have also become the obstacle for illegal smuggling of forest and river materials. Therefore, they feel unsafe from both sides.