SURKHET, June 29: After the district forest office set her house on fire, Tulasi Sarki of Dasharathpur-5 has become homeless. The 67-year-old lost her residence of 15 years to an anti-encroachment drive carried out by the authority on Thursday.
Sarki´s was among 25 houses destroyed at the Deuti community forest area. “They set our house on fire. Where shall we go now?” said Sarki tearfully.
While Sarki is not alone to lament over the loss of home, the forest office states that the actual number of squatters in the settlement is just 3.
“The government should have given us an alternative before displacing us,” said another woman Geeta Sunar. “My husband has gone to India in search of employment. What will we do now?” she added.
Forest officers set fire on squatters house. (Photo: Kalendra Sejuwal)
The houses were destroyed jointly by personnel from Nepal police, Armed Police Force and forest guard. “We set 3 houses and 22 huts on fire,” said the forest officer Shambhu Prasad Chaurasia.
“Due to political interference we had not been able to work for long. However, now with the help of the same people, now we did it successfully,” he added. According to him, it had taken around 7 hours for the team to evict the squatters from the area.