Atrocities on Nepal border villagers: Lawmakers
DANG, June 13: Locals in villages along the Nepal-India border in Dang district were forced to flee their homes due to continued atrocities on them by the Indian paramilitary force Seema Surksha Bal (SSB), concluded a team of Nepali parliamentarians after completing a four-day field visit to the district.
Speaking at a press meet in Dang on Saturday, the lawmakers however gave contradictory views regarding the encroachment of Nepali land by India. UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Amik Sherchan said Nepali land was encroached upon but he said he would reveal the extent of encroachment only after looking at the map. Indra Bahadur Tharu, a lawmaker from the same party, said, “On the basis of the map, we did not find any encroachment of Nepali land.” Tharu argued that India plans to encroach the land after chasing away the villagers.
The team of parliamentarians visited the district after around 2,000 people from the villages of Bela, Koilabas and Gobardiha in Dang fled their homes due to alleged encroachment of Nepali land and atrocities committed by the SSB personnel. The displaced villagers are sheltering in the Karri community forest in Satbariya-2 in the district.
All the lawmakers stated that continued atrocities by SSB personnel were the main reason behind the displacement of Nepali villagers in Dang. "There is no state presence in the border villages and the Nepalis are suffering atrocities from the SSB and Indian criminal groups", said Sherchan. He said the SSB crossed into Nepali territory, "dug ditches, set up huts and put up ´signs´ on houses".
But the team found the border pillars intact contrary to what media reports stated. Of the 79 pillars at 22 border points, 78 are intact, said one team member. One pillar was found to have been lost.
According to Sherchan, people have to depend on the Indian market and Nepalis face atrocities as there are no Nepali check posts on the border. "We should ensure a state presence on the border for a solution," he said.
Locals told the team that local women were sometimes raped by SSB personnel, and they allowed people to import just five to 10 kg of food from across the border.
The lawmakers reached the conclusion that the government should take initiatives to return the villagers to their homes and introduce some development packages.