Saptari Dalit families fear destitution

Rajbiraj, May 3

As many as 17 Dalit families in Bhidiya Tole on the banks of Devdhar River in Shambhunath Municipality, Saptari, fear the loss of their shelters.

Dalits, including Tatma and Bisworkarma are living in fear after police personnel and their neighbours started to mete out torture and told them to vacate their houses from in Bhidiya Tole.

Pawan Das Tatma complained that the municipality office had used police personnel to vacate their houses built on the unregistered land at the behest of some persons west of Bhidiya Tole.

“We have been living on the river banks due to lack of land. But, some so-called seniors have hatched a plot to evict us from our huts,” Tatma said.

Dukhani Devi Tatma said the pressure on the community to vacate their shelters had stolen their good night’s sleep. “My husband is employed abroad and police have demolished my house”, Dukhani Devi lamented.

Tripitalal Das Tatma said they would vacate the place only if they were provided an alternative settlement.

Achhamit Chuadhary said that forced eviction of the landless would be a great injustice to the Dalits. Chaudhary informed that one month ago the locals had saved them when some people tried to set the Dalit settlement on fire.

SP Bhim Prasad Dhakal at District Police Office, Saptari, said efforts were under way to vacate the unregistered land as directed by DAO.

CDO Baldev Gautam said the objective of the drive was to stop encroachment of public land at Shambhunath Municipality.