DADELDHURA, Sept 8: A dispute relating to encroachment of land of the locals of Amargadi Municipality-1 by the then Royal Nepalese Army is yet to settle in five decades. The locals have demanded that the army return back 2,436 ropanis of land which belong to them.
According to a local Mohan Singh Aeir, even though the locals had knocked the doors of the previous governments many times their plea has not been addressed so far. The locals have asked the Land Revenue Office, Land Survey Office and the Nepal Army repeatedly to return them their land but in vain.
The locals claimed that the land which had been used by them since 1938 was encroached upon by the army in 1972. Aeir claimed that the locals are ready to move the court to seek justice.
He claimed that the land was originally owned by the then mukhiya Lal Mani Aeir before the Panchayat era and there still exists documents of the land at the Land Revenue Office. According to him, the locals later started using the land and paying taxes as well.
Ward Chairperson Lek Bahadur Aeir said that the survey of 1938 shows that the land was transferred in the name of 16 people and was being used by 41 households. He claimed that the army does not have the right over the land since the land was owned by the forefathers of the locals.
“The locals have the receipt of the taxes paid till 1978,” he said, adding, “We also have the certificates that prove that the then mukhiyas had the claim over the land.”
The locals have said that they have been writing an application to the prime minister, Land Reform Ministry, Department of Land Reform, local authorities, District Administration Office, Land Revenue Office, District Forest Office and Nepal Army every year but the concerned authorities have turned a deaf ear to their plights.
The locals also have a copy of the letter sent by the District Administration Office to the Nepal Army's survey division in Tripureshwar on December 18, 2006, asking for advice on the case.
The Land Revenue Office has informed that the case can only be settled by the court since the army also has the documents supporting their claim. The land was registered in the name of the army in 1983 after they set up a barrack in the land. “Since, the army too has the supporting documents, we cannot help the locals. They will need to knock the door of the court,” Land Revenue Officer Ashok Sarki said, “The locals should have raised their voice when the army encroached on the land.”