DHANGADHI, April 16: Shivaratnapur and Mohanpur villages of Kailari Rural Municipality-3 are 27 kilometers away from Dhangadhi, the temporary capital of Sudurpaschim Province. These two settlements have been separated by the Mohana River, which divides the border between India and Nepal as well. The locals living in these two settlements face a lot of trouble. Despite being Nepali citizens, they lament that have been deprived of government services.
There are 78 households in Shivaratnapur and 88 in Mohanpur. They have been living here for more than four decades but they still lack the ownership of their land. In monsoon, the people of these settlements are detached from the other villages due to the lack of a proper bridge over the
Mohana River. This compels them to depend completely on India.
This is the reason why these people are often victimized by the Indian authorities. Every year, these people provide 5-15 days of free labor to the Indian authority, pay Rs 300 and are exploited at various other levels. “Only we know how hard it is for us to live here,” said local Batasu Chaudhary, adding, “But no one listens to our miseries.”
Despite making several efforts, no local here has been able to obtain the land ownership certificate.
“As we have no money to spend on agriculture and business, we wish to keep our land as collateral and take loan from banks. Unfortunately, we don’t have that option,” said Jit Bahadur Chaudhary. These people are not even able to install the irrigation pump provided by the government. “They ask for land ownership certificate for the pump,” said Jit Bahadur.
These people do not even have access to educational and health facilities. According to them, the failure of the government to provide land ownership certificates to the citizens at the border is a great risk for them. “This has increased the fear that the land belonging to these people may get encroached upon by others,” said Kailash Chaudhary, chief of Ward 3. According to the locals, some Indians have started claiming their land.
Bisheswor Basic School (BBS), which was established in the year 1985, is still operating on unregistered land. These people so far have helped prevent the Nepali land from being encroached upon. “We have been protecting Nepali land despite being victimized by the Indian authorities,” said Gyan Bahadur Chaudhary, adding, “Our citizenship has become the only evidence to prove others that we are Nepalis.”
Lajuram Chaudhary, chairperson of Kailari says the local unit does not have the right o provide these people the ownership of their land as most laws and policies are still in the making. Indian security personnel often visit these villages and torture the locals.