‘Illegal’ structures on public land demolished

- THAKUR SINGH THARU, Banke

Dec 18, 2014-

The local administration has forcefully razed 31 illegal structures built in the name of landless and squatters in Ganapur-6 on Thursday. Following the eviction, the landless squatters living in the area for the last ten years have been left without any place to live.

According to them, the administration had not even allowed them to salvage their properties before demolishing the structures.

“We had been living here for the past ten years, but within seconds we have been rendered homeless,” lamented one of the squatters, Ram Prasad Loniya. While some were found caught in a daze while the dozers were pulling down the structures they called home, the whole area resounded with the cries of women and children.

“It was not our desire to encroach upon public land, but as we were landless and the area was unoccupied, we had been living there,” said another landless squatter Sunita Loniya, complaining that the authorities should not have allowed them to stay in the area in the first place. Although the landless had been living in the area since the last ten years, the administration had remained mum about the matter until it decided to take the initiative to free the four hectares of public land.

Meanwhile, the administration claimed that they had to resort to the move as the government had already allocated the budget for the ‘open-prison’ slated to be constructed there. Furthermore, the administration claimed that they had issued an eviction notice and had been compelled to use force as the landless had failed to comply. The administration had issued a three-day notice to the landless squatters to evict the area on December 15 following preparations to construct an open-prison in the area.

The administration has already removed more than 1,100 structure built encroaching community forest lands in the name of flood victims across the Rapti river.

Published: 19-12-2014 09:21

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