ROLPA, August 15: Authorities of Rolpa Municipality have decided to validate decisions taken by the then 'people's government' during conflict period by formulating new laws. The first municipal meeting of the municipality recently approved the decision.
According to Purna KC, mayor of the municipality, most of the laws would be focused on validating war-era transactions that took place in their local unit.
“We have to understand that land transactions during the decade-long conflict era weren't done forcefully. At present, when the value of the lands is steadily on the rise, the sellers during the war era have changed their stance to reap undue benefit from it,” he added.
After the Maoists started the armed insurgency in 1996, people living in the areas controlled by the rebels had no way of visiting the government's land revenue offices to register their land transactions. They had no choice but to turn to the parallel government run by the Maoist rebels, whose administration provided formalities to land transactions and distributed certificates of land ownership to the buyers.
However, after the end of the blood-soaked insurgency, the country's law refused to recognize the land ownership certificates provided by the Maoists' parallel government during the decade-long conflict era. This encouraged the people who had sold their land during the insurgency period through the parallel government to claim back their sold land, arguing that the land still belong to them legally. The claims of the previous land owners have resulted in many families being displaced and rendered them homeless.
Rolpa is the stronghold of CPN-Maoist (Center). The party bagged 9 out of 10 wards of the municipality in the recent local elections. Man Bahadur Khatri of Nepali Congress, who had won the only other ward in the municipality, criticized the decision saying, “Everyone should follow the country's policy. It is wrong to take steps to legalize decisions of the then Maoist's parallel government just because they control most of the wards.”
Of late, many cases regarding the decisions taken by the then people's government have piled up in the district court. Many have claimed that they were forced to sell their lands as Maoists pointed guns in their head to sell their land. Krishna Bahadur Gharti Magar, former president of Rolpa chapter of Nepali Congress, warned that validating the conflict-era land transaction passed by the then Maoist rebels would lead to further conflict.