People from the Musahar community have been deprived of land ownership due to lack of citizenship certificate in Dhangadimai Municipality, Siraha.

More than three dozen Musahar families have failed to own land for lack of citizenship certificates. They demanded that the government provide them with citizenship certificates. The government has formed a Land Commission to provide land to the Dalits, poor and landless people. The commission has finished collecting data of landless people from 14 municipalities in the first phase.

Thirty-four Musahar families at Dhangadimai Municipality have been deprived of land possession for lack of citizenship certificates. They have been living in their ancestral land for years, but they have not been able to own land for lack of citizenship certificates. Devaki Sada of Dhangadimai Municipality complained that her family was about to be deprived of the land they had been living on for years due to lack of citizenship.

Raso Sada of Musaharniya said that most of the people from Musahar community lacked citizenship certificates.

"Most of the youths do not have citizenship certificates and their hope of owning land has shattered due to lack of citizenship certificates," Sada added.

Dhangadimai Municipality Ward 9 Chair Prakash Yongjan said that more than 34 families were deprived of land for want of citizenship certificate. "The government wants people to have citizenship certificates for land.

Since Musahar people do not have citizenship certificates, they have no chance of owning land," he stated.

For lack of citizenship, Musahar people are deprived of social security allowance, child nutrition allowance, electricity and other basic facilities provided by the government.

Land Commission Siraha Coordinator Sanjay Chaudhary said that the commission had collected names of 2,626 families from 14 wards of the municipality. "Since the first criterion is citizenship certificate, people sans citizenship certificate cannot participate in the process," said Chaudhary.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 17, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.