Maoist-allied squatters grabbing land

BANKE: After walking out of the government, the Unified CPN-Maoist is once again up to grabbing people’s land in the mid and far-western regions. The former rebels’ act violates the Comprehensive Peace Accord.

According to All Nepal Squatters’ Association, the cadres were putting into practice the party’s central policy of ‘seizing the fallow land and distributing it among the landless’.

The UCPN-M has seized more than 100 bighas of land in the western Tarai. Public land has also been seized. Land grabbing has been witnessed mainly in Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts. ANSA central member Amar Pariyar said the seizure campaign had been intensified.

Pariyar, who is also the coordinator of the campaign, said, “We’ll take away the land from the landlords and feudal lords soon, as they possess large landmasses.” He said some 1,000 squatter families had been settled in makeshift huts. In the past month alone a total of 22 bighas have been seized in Dang.

The squatters’ body has taken away 16 bighas of land from Munna Devi Baniya in Banke’s Udarapur to settle 32 landless families.

In Kohalpur, 2.5 bighas of land belonging to Bageshwori Temple is housing 250 landless families. On 50 bighas of private land in Bardiya’s TCN Basti, Rampur, Tepari and Jagatiya areas, hundreds of huts have been built.

Fifteen bighas of land has been seized in Kailali and 10 bighas in Benikhola and city area in Kanchanpur.