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Nayagaun folks living near Nepal-India border facing double insecurity

Ranjha, Aug 7 : People of Nayagaun at Raptisonari rural municipality-4 in Banke district are compelled to live with double insecurity although they have been guarding the Nepal-India border in their area.
In an interaction with a study team led by State Assembly member IP Kharel, the locals complained that they are insecure due to the border encroachment by the Indian side and from the timber and river-based aggregates smugglers. The team had gone for an on-site study of the settlement near the Nepal-India border to assess the latest situation.
Nayagaun is four and half hours drive from Raptisonari, Ward No 4 office. The village was settled around a decade back and the residents of this settlement feel insecure as the police administration and the government bodies have not been able to reach out to the area on a regular basis.
“The Indians are encroaching upon our land near the border. It is not known where the border lies. They have been tilling land even at the no-man’s land on the border. If we speak up against this aggression, we get threats of eviction,” Bal Bahadur Budhathoki of Khayarbhatti Nayagaun said, explaining the situation.
He added that Nayagaun, which came to the notice of the state about a decade back, has now been merged with Raptisonari rural municipality-4. It was a part of the erstwhile Baijapur Village Development Committee before this. Budhathoki lamented that the state has not been able to extend the minimum basic facilities and services to Nayagaun.
“There is no education, health and water supply facility, forget about security. Whenever they get a chance, the Indian nationals and the Indian paramilitary force, SSB, have no qualms crossing the border into Nepal coming to the settlement and intimidating and harassing the locals. Our daughters and women cannot go around in the area alone. We are compelled to tolerate their aggression in own land and settlement,” he shared their predicament.
Although the government has set up a health post at Gudangaudi of Nayagaun, the locals have not been able to avail of regular health service and medicine. The locals have demanded setting up a police post and deputing a team of the Armed Police Force for defending the border.
Ward chair Kanchha Tharu said there is insecurity and inconvenience in Nayagaun since it is a scattered settlement in a hilly area.
Ward Chairperson Tharu said, “There is record of 130 people under this ward. Though data of 126 people was collected in course of distributing relief during lockdown, there is record of distribution of relief to 130 people.”
He said that it is still unknown that Nayagaun folks are from which ward. Chaudhary shared that though a trail was constructed at Nayagaun through Prime Minister Employment Programme during last fiscal year for the movement, there is no any development plan here this year.
Similarly, Chairperson of Raptisonari rural municipality Lahuram Tharu said that Nayagaun folks have become unsafe due to border encroachment from Indian side and river materials smugglers.
Chairperson Lahuram said,” I had visited Nayagaun two days before. The Nayagaun folks are found to be threatened by smugglers as the illegal extraction of river materials are found to be obstructed due to the settlement. The locals have demanded security but there is no possibility of presence of security body immediately.”
Raptisonari rural municipality has invested in drinking water, health post ad school at Nayagaun. The place, which is most remote area of Banke, is known as Nayagaun. There are Jhorhawa, Banskholi, Chunbhattai, Khayarbhatti, Kuntipani, Cheurihawa, Gudangaudi, Murkatta (Maheshpur) and Aambasa, as well as other villages in Nayagaun.
State Assembly member of State-5 and Banke Chairperson of Nepal Communist Party, IP Kharel, who carried out onsite visit of Jhorhawa village, where Division Forest Office had torched 13 houses saying the forest was encroached, said that Nayagaun folks have been working as the Nepali border guard.
He told RSS, “Nayagaun folks, who have been defending the act of border encroachment by India, have become obstacle for illegal smuggling of forest and river materials there. So they are unsafe from both sides.”(RSS)

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