Majority of Susta residents do not have citizenshipOut of the 3,133 people at the Susta rural municipality in Parasi of Province 5, only 256 own a citizenship document, depriving the majority of Susta residents of state facilities.
Out of the 3,133 people at the Susta rural municipality in Parasi of Province 5, only 256 own a citizenship document, depriving the majority of Susta residents of state facilities.
The municipality, which lies on the Nepal-India border, is frequently gripped by territorial disputes.
Inhabitants of the municipality have been residing in the area for generations, but they still have no legal ground to pass citizenship to their children.
A government team had conducted a camp to issue citizenship documents to the residents of Susta 12 years ago, but only a few obtained the documents.
“Since 2063 BS, no government team had been here to issue citizenship documents,” said Nurja Begam, a member of Save Susta Campaign. “We have been protecting our land from foreign encroachment for years now, yet we are not a citizen of this country.”
The local administration of Nawalparasi said they do not hold the right to issue citizenships. The people of Susta said several political leaders have assured them of addressing their issues, but there has been no change so far.
“The State has done us a great injustice,” said Begam.
Since the residents of Susta do not have a citizenship document, they have been unable to receive the state facilities like old-age allowance, government grants and bank loans for setting up enterprises.
“As the majority of people in Susta do not have a citizenship, they have not been able to register the land they have been residing on for generations even though the land had been demarcated by the Ministry of Land Reform and Management in 1973,” said Adam Khan, vice-president of Save Susta Campaign.
The government had issued land-ownership certificates for 556 bighas of land after conducting a survey and demarcating the land.
Chief of the Susta rural municipality Ram Prasad Pandey said not only the Susta people but people across the country have been facing problem as the state stopped issuing citizenship certificate on the basis of birth.