Shuklaphanta displaced block highway in protest

- BHAWANI BHATTA, KANCHANPUR

Feb 24, 2017-Kaluwapur area in Jhalari Pipaldi-11, Kanchanpur, remained tense throughout the day on Thursday due to sporadic clashes between security personnel and the people displaced during the expansion of Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, now a national park, area 16 years ago.

The nasty clash ensued as the security personnel tried to resume transportation along the East-West Highway that was blocked by the agitators. Nine security personnel and three protesters were injured in the incident. 

Police said they lobbed 10 tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters and resume the transportation. The security personnel also detained 11 demonstrators. Vehicular movement came to a halt for about six hours along the highway, affecting hundreds of passengers. The demonstrators piled up boulders on the road and blocked the highway. The displaced families have been protesting for the past few days, demanding that the government provide land for their resettlement. Around 2,400 families have been living in temporary shelters at Dhakka, Dekhatabhuli and Banhara after they were displaced from their previous settlements.

Over the years, the government has formed 29 probe committees to look into the case, but without a solution. A taskforce formed by the Far-western Regional Forest Directorate has proposed options between small land plot and Rs 500,000 cash to the displaced families. The displaced people have been on protest saying that Rs500,000 was insufficient for their resettlement.

Published: 24-02-2017 08:15

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