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Squatters’ strike comes to sticky end Print E-mail
Posted by Administrator   
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
 Kathmandu: The banda called by squatters in the Kathmandu Valley on Tuesday fell flat as vehicles plied as usual giving two hoots about the strike. The strike was announced to protest the government plan to demolish settlements build encroaching public land alongside rivers in the Valley. More than 400 squatters were arrested from several places of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur for disrupting vehicular movement.

Earlier in the morning, police nabbed 250 persons who vandalised 11 vehicles and forced closure of businesses and vehicles. In Balaju, protesters tried to burn a Tata mobile van but the dense presence of security personnel thwarted their bid. Twenty-two squatters were arrested from Lokanthali while they were obstructing vehicular movement on the six-lane road in the morning. According to the Metropolitan Police Commissioners Office (MPCO), 2,200 police were deployed in several areas, mainly at UN Park, Shankhamul and river banks of Manahara, Bagmati, Bishnumati and Dhobi Khola. A large number of Armed Police Force personnel were also deployed in porous area. Police patrolled around the Valley throughout the day to avoid any unpleasant incident.
“Police had almost sealed the squatters’ areas at UN Park, Teku and Manahara,” said DSP Dhiraj Pratap Singh of the Metropolitan Police Range. State investigations show many families living on the riverbanks are fake landless. However, there are some genuine squatters too. Out of the government estimated 14,000 people living as squatters in the Valley, around 1,300 are likely to be evicted in the first phase by mobilising 3,000 security personnel.

Source: The Kathmandu Post, January 18, 2012
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