Maoists preparing to validate conflict-era land deals

December 22, 2017 05:45 AM Devendra Basnet & Ganesh BK

RUKUM / DANG, Dec 22: After achieving clean sweep victories in the local elections held earlier this year, the elected local representatives from the CPN (Maoist Center) in Rukum made a big decision to validate the conflict-era land transactions carried out by the 'people's government' during the insurgency period. They went on to intimidate those against the decision, warning them that they would be deprived of all services provided by the local units in the district.

Now that the provincial and parliamentary elections, too, have been held successfully, the Maoist Center is preparing to endorse the local units' decision to validate the conflict-era land transactions through the provincial assembly. As the party has dominated the recently concluded provincial and parliamentary elections in Rukum, the elected representatives informed that they are preparing to give legal recognition to the conflict-era land transactions. 

“Laws will be passed by the provincial assembly to immediately validate the conflict-era land transactions,” claimed Rato Kami, who has been elected a member of provincial assembly from Rukum-1. “The land transactions during the conflict period were made through agreements between the seller and the buyer. Now they cannot say that the agreements and land transactions made during that period are unacceptable,” said Kami

The Maoist Center said that the party's main agenda is to raise the conflict-era land transaction issues in the provincial assembly. Gopal Sharma, another provincial member of Rukum-1, also expressed confidence that law would be passed at the provincial level to validate the conflict-era land deals.

“Land transactions carried out during the conflict era should get legal recognition. We are going to raise this issue as our main agenda in the provincial assembly. Laws recognizing the transactions will be passed soon,” he said, adding that Maoist Center senior leaders and elected parliamentarian Janardan Sharma has also promised to push the issue. 

During the election campaigns, the Maoist Center candidates had assured the voters of resolving the issues pertaining to the conflict-era land deals. “Many voters had requested us to resolve the conflict regarding the land transactions. Now that the voters elected us, we have no choice but to resolve the issue,” said Kami.

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 Maoist-run parallel governments which registered land transactions and distributed land ownership certificates to the buyers.

However, after the end of the decade-long insurgency, the country's law refused to recognize the land ownership certificates provided by the Maoists' 'people's governments' during the 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 belonged to them legally. The claims of the previous land sellers have resulted in many families being displaced and homeless.

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