RUKUM, June 4: The Karnali Province government has initiated necessary work to validate insurgency-era land transactions carried out by the then parallel government run by the Maoist rebels.
“We are preparing to form a commission to resolve the issue,” said Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative Minister Bimal KC, who is also the spokesperson for the provincial government.
Previously, the government had stated to resolve the issue by formulating laws. However, Minister KC said that formulating laws was a lengthy process, so they are looking to form a commission to resolve the matter at the earliest.
The government has already initiated discussions regarding the formation of the commission, which would handle all conflict-era land deals carried out by the then parallel government run by the rebels.
“After the formation of the commission, we can expect to resolve the issues with war-era land deals soon. Likewise, the commission will also work to resolve the problems related to landless squatters,” said Minister KC.
After the Maoists started the armed insurgency in 1996, people living in the areas controlled by the rebels had no way of visiting the government’s land revenue offices to register their land transactions. They had no choice but to turn to the parallel government run by the Maoists, whose administration provided formalities to land transactions and distributed certificates of land ownership to the buyers.
However, after the end of the blood-soaked insurgency, the country’s law refused to recognize the land ownership certificates provided by the Maoist parallel governments. This encouraged the people who had sold their land during the insurgency period through the parallel government to claim back their sold land, arguing that the land still belongs to them legally. The claims of the previous land sellers have resulted in many families being displaced.
While the provincial government is making overtures to validate such transactions by the Maoists, lawyers have spoken against it.
“The Supreme Court has already given its verdict against validating the insurgency-era land deals facilitated by the Maoists. The provincial government’s decision is a mockery of the constitution,” said Senior Advocate Nawaraj Gautam.
Such land deals had taken place in Rukum, Salyan, Jajarkot, Kalikot, Dailekh and Surkhet districts.