Indian families occupying Nepal’s land for farmingAn area near Nepal-India border in Gobargadha Tapu, Saptari, is being taken over by some families who have migrated from across the Indian border town.
An area near Nepal-India border in Gobargadha Tapu, Saptari, is being taken over by some families who have migrated from across the Indian border town.
These émigrés, who hails from the village of Kataiya in Supaul district of Indian state of Bihar, have started to build huts and plant crops on the land that is located 5 km inside the border, the area that falls under the sovereignty of Nepal.
Surtal Mukhiya is one of the people, who have migrated from his native land, in India, to Gobargadha Tapu, where he is growing wheat on a land spread over nearly 10 bighas or 1.6 hectares. He has also built a hut next to the plantation. Mukhiya claimed he and his family had been coming to Gobargadha Tapu to plant crops for some years now. Apparently, he has no qualms about occupying a land illegally, let alone a land in a foreign country.
“We live in India during monsoon and return after the monsoon has ended to grow our crops here,” he said.
Five new families from Mukhiya’s village also migrated to Gobargadha Tapu this year.
Like the Mukhiyas, they said, they too were here for seasonal farming and that they will return to India once the monsoon has begun.
“We are growing crops on a land that was barren and some of us are here to rear buffaloes,” said one woman.
The Gobargadha locals said that the number of Indian families building homes and cultivating on the Nepali territory has grown over the years and the authorities have not taken any notice of the blatant land grabbing taking place near the border area.
Sub Inspector of Nepal Police Bhagawani Thakur, of the Hanuman Nagar Area Police Office, said the office did not know about Indian families occupying the Nepali territory.
“No one has registered a formal complaint so far,” he said. Chief District Officer Krishna Bahadur Katuwal also had no idea about the goings-on in Gobargadha Tapu. “We will soon inspect the area and evict the illegal occupants,” he said after he was apprised of the situation at one of the border villages.