Nepal: Our seized properties will not come back

Binaya Dhoj Chand

Nepali Congress Leader

TGQ1: The fresh seven point agreement reportedly talks of the Maoists returning of the seized properties. You yourself being one of the victims, how do you Mr. Chand look it at all these agreements and do you hope that your properties will be ultimately returned to you?

Mr. Chand: Well, hopes are taken into account if one looks into the actions of the past. The politics of consensus had right begun after signing of the 12 point agreement. Beginning this agreement, one more Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA, was signed in consensus. The CPA was made even a part of the constitution itself. Many more agreements have followed then which continues even as of today. Mind it all these agreements have been made under the very premise of the same 12 point agreement which also talked of the return of the seized properties by the Maoists. Several agreements made later too talked of returning of the held properties but all went in vain when it came into the implementation level. The commitments that the Maoists had made then, in each and every past concord, have not yet been realized by the party of the former rebels. Prachanda while being the country’s Prime Minister had claimed right from the parliament podium that well within three months, the captured lands will be returned to its rightful owners. How many such three months have lapsed since then we all know or are the talked three months yet to come? But at best his PM post collapsed. Now that Dr. Bhattarai is the Nepal PM and he too belongs to his own party who too has once again vowed that he will return those properties through the facilitation of the fresh seven point agreement. If the past actions were any indication, then we are still not convinced that our detained properties will be returned back to us. We are not positive.

TGQ2: This does mean that you have still some reservations on your lands coming back to you?  Why so Mr. Chand?

Mr. Chand: Yes! We are apprehensive. Our suspicion gets some more strength looking at the stance taken by the Mohan Baidya’s panel who are saying that they will not allow the properties to go back to its rightful owners. This panel has again begun loot of the properties. They are harvesting the produce and have begun a campaign of capturing the lands again. So what I feel is that the Maoists prefer to integrate their militias, however, on the other hand neither the party nor the government appears serious in returning back the seized properties. The integration process has already begun but yet nothing so far has been done as regards the returning of the captured properties. It is just one sided affair.

TGQ3: So this does mean that as per the seven point agreement, the Maoists militias will be integrated but the problems of the victims of the Maoists will remain intact? Is this what you want to say Mr. Chand?

Mr. Chand: Yes! We are convinced in what you have said. It is said that history repeats itself. One can’t say definitely that the past actions will not replicate once again. If you look at it from a different angle and perspective then one could take it also as a Maoists grand strategy. Look one camp of the Maoists says the properties should be returned then concurrently the other declares that it should not be allowed to happen.  The enigma is that while the Maoists militia integration process has begun already then the question of the returning of the properties has not moved even one inch which in effect must have gone side by side. After integrating their Militias first they may shift this issue sine die under some pretext or the other. The likelihood remains.  The Maoists wield State authority now. The administration is completely under their control. If they wish to return the properties they can do so easily. One more question is associated with the return of the properties which is the one related with the farmers’ fundamental rights. Their pains are being ignored. The seven point agreement also talks of scientific land reform. What is this? What is its definition? The question lay here. What is the technical land reform of the Nepali Congress? What then is the stance of scientific land reform of the Maoists and the UML? The hitch now lay in the so called scientific land reform. It should not be like that. The land ceiling which has been in practice as per the prevailing laws of the land must be implemented and brought into practice. The existing rules and regulations should guide the issue is what we wish in effect.

TGQ4: You yourself are a man of the Nepali Congress party. Was not the NC conscious and sensitive towards this issue? How you explain it Mr. Chand?

Mr. Chand: Great paradox that it is. I am very much a part of the Nepali Congress party and this is what I have been speaking representing the NC voice.

To me it has come as a great annoyance and surprise that my own party, the NC, remains insensitive on this issue as was demanded of the party.  In the process of having faith and belief, let me tell you very frankly that the Nepali Congress activists were the main target or made the real victim of the people’s war.  Some were killed and some maimed. Many more have been displaced from their own properties and shelter. To my utter surprise, the Nepali Congress has so far not mentioned its “official stance” over the issue that I have been talking right now. We raised our voices several times in the past. We created a forum “Peace process-War victim coordination and Consensus Committee” as well. Well, I am myself the coordinator of the said committee which compiled a voluminous document after working on the issue for over a year and a half and later submitted it to the perusal of the Nepali Congress party.  This document   has the statistics of some 12, 000 people being the victim. Several others came but since the document had already been compiled and thus they were left undocumented. The document at best has been shelved at the party office.  This fact also speaks volumes as to how much the NC is serious about the issue raised and authentically compiled in the document?

TGQ5: So then what you all the victims will do now? What are your plans to face this issue Mr. Chand?

Also tell us whether you have applied for getting your properties returned as per the fresh call made by Prachanda side or say from the government quarter? 

Mr. Chand: Now we will not let this issue subside or die an unnatural death. We have with us the entire strength of the families whose properties have been captured. The victims are with us now. We have just officially registered one Forum. It is the “Society of the Conflict-Victims”. We took great pains in registering this society. We have just started to work on the issue of the victims. We will now talk with the domestic as well as with the International Human Rights activists and institutions. We will ask then whether the victims should enjoy their fundamental rights and that whether you the HR people raise our concerns or not? We will thus build pressures on them. We have already taken some initiatives from our side in this regard.

Yes! We did apply as per the fresh call. The government asked for it, we submitted our application. If we have failed in submitting the applications, the government may say that you didn’t apply and thus it is too late for you. We applied honoring the government’s call for fresh application.

Text courtesy: The Deshantar Weekly dated November 20, 2011. Thanks.  

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Comments

  • Posted on - 2011-11-28    by     bhimrajgurung
  • Why land return cases are being singled out ? It should be done as a matter of policy of land holding?
  • Posted on - 2011-11-24    by     Peoples of Nepal
  • No body want to say thanks to the Nepalese Politicians and Political Party. They already missed their good day.