Activists call for civic rebellion to bring back public land grabbed by land mafias under state control
December 18, 2020 07:49 PM NPT
Kathmandu, Dec 19: Civic activists have called for a civic rebellion to exert pressure on the government to bring the public land occupied by and registered in the name of individuals back to state ownership. The activists made such a call in a Bhandafor (expose) program organized by the Struggle Committee for Protection of Public and Guthi Land in the capital on Friday.
Addressing the program, advocate Yubaraj Koirala, General Secretary of Struggle Committee, spoke about why Lalita Niwas was not brought under state control despite the decision of the council of ministers to that effect on March 12, 2019.
“Minister of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation in collusion with land mafias has hindered the process,” he said. “Even today buildings are being constructed on Lalita Niwas land. What is the government doing?” he asked.
The activists warned the government to work immediately to bring back 134 ropanis of Lalita Niwas land, 348 ropanis of land in Dharan, and 50 ropanis of land belonging to Sagarmatha National Park—which has been transferred to private ownership—back to the state control.
“Today they are registering state properties under private ownership. Tomorrow they might sell out the whole country,” said senior lawyer Bal Krishna Neupane. “We must speak up when the government itself acts like a real estate agent,” he added.
On the occasion, Dr Prem Singh Basnyat, retired brigadier general of Nepal Army, appealed all to support the campaign to save the public land from corrupt politicians and land mafias.
Advocate Koirala said that land mafias are threatening activists of life. “But we will keep raising voice against the mafias and corrupt leaders,” he said. “We will keep fighting for the cause.”