HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Various human rights organisations today expressed serious concern about the government’s act of evicting squatters from the banks of the Bagmati River in Thapathali.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) asked the government to re-settle the squatters in a safe place at the soonest. In a press statement, NHRC further asked the government to provide treatment for those injured in yesterday’s clash with police. The commission said it held a meeting with civil society representatives and squatters today in which the latter urged NHRC to identify the real squatters and re-settle them. The commission has also urged the government to provide safety to women, children, patients, elders and disabled people. It has also sought justice for those detained in course of yesterday’s action in which the government bulldozed about 297 illegal huts and houses built at Thapathali, Kathmandu-11, about six years ago. The government had issued notices to the settlers to vacate the land designated for the UN Park.
A few months ago, the government had proposed to give each squatter household Rs 15,000 as immediate relief to enable them to pay rent for three months, but the settlers had refused to vacate the area demanding an alternative area for settlement.
National Women Commission has also expressed serious concern about yesterday’s action and asked the government to relocate the squatters as soon as possible. The statement said that the squatter are mainly people having low economical standard and are internally displaced because of conflict in the country. The commission has asked the government to be sensitive and provide security to women, children and elderly people.
National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders has condemned the government move and asked the government to provide the squatters social security. In a statement, the alliance said the government move is against international human rights conventions that government has ratified to ensure security to its people living within its territory. The alliance demanded opportunities that will enable the landless lot to lead a respectful life.
Call for succour
KATHMANDU: Squatters driven out of the Bagmati banks have demanded that the government provide them with shelter. The government should stop evicting squatters and demolishing their shelter, said members of the UCPN-Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Landless People’s Organisation.
The organisation also demanded an unconditional release of squatters arrested in Thapathali on Tuesday and free treatment for those injured in clash with police. The squatters have announced protests against the government for thrashing the elders, women, children and lactating mothers. They have decided to submit memoranda to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, UCPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Home Minister Bijaya Gachhadar in protest of Tuesday’s excesses.