December 6: Landless squatters of Kathmandu, who have turned down repeated attempts of the government to relocate them, say that they will not leave the occupied land unless the government makes alternative arrangements for them.
The squatters have started a protest with various demands on the initiative of the United National Squatters Front and Nepal Mahila Ekata Samaj (NMES).
The squatters, who have been protesting violently since last Monday, organized peaceful rallies in the past few days. On Sunday and Monday, hundreds of squatters protested in rallies from Maitighar to New Baneshwar. They demanded social justice, right to land, and safe housing for the landless.
Kumar Karki, president of the United National Squatters Front, warned that trying to evict the squatters without making an alternative arrangement for the land they have been living on for years will not be tolerated as it is a violation of their civil rights.
He said that the government has closed the door for discussion. He said, “We cannot tolerate eviction without alternative arrangements on the land we have been living on for years. This is a violation of citizens, a violation of civil rights. It is a violation of the constitution. Landless squatters are not subversive. Squatters who live in risk-free areas should be given land ownership certificates in the same place where they live and those who live in risky areas should be transferred to other safe areas within the same ward. Open the door of discussion, we want to solve the problem through discussions.”
During the rally, the squatters protested with slogans such as stop the eviction without alternative, open the door for dialogue and discussion, withdraw the complaint against the land developer, stop the terror of eviction, and ensure the rights of citizens. They allege that since the Kathmandu Metropolitan City took dozers to demolish the squatters’ settlements on the initiative of the High Powered Committee for Integrated Development of the Bagmati Civilization (HPCIDBC) on November 28, the slum areas have been tense.