Conflicts with individuals residing in squatter communities on the banks of the Bagmati River in Thapathali today resulted in at least 20 municipal city police officers being hurt. In an effort to clear temporary colonies and evict occupants, more than 30 police officers arrived at the squatter colony today with excavators but without the necessary safety gear. They were unaware of what was going to happen, though.
A bunch of individuals began throwing stones and bricks at the police as they were having a conversation with the populace. The police had to defend themselves using only their bare hands, and when they attempted to get away, the enraged mob attacked them with whatever weapons they could get their hands on.
Even some of them carried khukuris. The nearby Norvic hospital received all of the injured police officers for treatment. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. Rajunath Pandey, the head of the Kathmandu Municipal City Police, said that he was one of the 20 KMC officers hurt during skirmishes with squatters.
Rajunath Pandey, the head of the Kathmandu Municipal City Police, said that he was one of the 20 KMC officers hurt during skirmishes with squatters. Later, the area was secured by anti-riot police from the Nepal Police and Armed Police Force while protesters burned tires and yelled anti-government slogans there.
The High-Powered Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilization, which has been trying to remove squatter colonies from the banks of the Bagmati River, was also criticized in the chants they chanted.
When squatters and KMC police clashed, officials from the HPCID- BC were present. In a national newspaper on November 11, the HP-CIDBC requested that anyone living along the banks of the Bagmati and Bishnumati rivers leave the area within ten days. In the valley, hundreds of residents who live along the banks of rivers took to the streets to call on the government to reverse its decision.
The administration was accused by squatters of trying to deceive them by sending them the notice while parliamentary and provincial elections were being campaigned for. Landless people’s advocate Bhagawati Adhikari claimed that the government never treated them as Nepali citizens and never hesitated to use force against them.
“We have experienced government retaliation, so using force is nothing new to us. After municipality police attempted to forcibly enter our settlements today, some teenagers became enraged “explained Adhikari. She claimed that the right to a home had been guaranteed by the constitution for all Nepalis, but that their complaints had been ignored by the government.
Squatters said that the authorities tried to forcibly evict them without offering them any other options. This assertion is untrue, though. Squatters were being relocated by the government to Kathmandu’s Icchangu Narayan neighborhood.
However, squatters had declined to go there, claiming that it was too remote and lacked sufficient amenities. With the aid of more than 2,000 police officers, the government evacuated about 250 homes from the Thapathali region on May 8, 2012, uprooting almost 1,000 individuals, including about 400 children.
Nevertheless, despite official action, people occasionally still lived on the banks of valley rivers and built transient towns. Squatters in the valley assert that there are about 3,500 homes living along the banks of the Bagmati and Bishnumati rivers.