IGP condemns Nepal Govt for burning down Indigenous Chepang people’s houses in CNP

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Press Statement

IGP condemns Nepal Govt for burning down Indigenous Chepang people’s houses in CNP

New Delhi. 28 July 2020: The India Greens Party (IGP) has condemned the Nepal Government for burning down the indigenous Chepang people’s houses in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) in the country and displacing these people from there.

The IGP has learnt that the CNP officials destroyed Chepang’s houses without coordinating with the municipal office at a time when plans were being drawn to manage Chepang’s habitat.

In a press state issued here, the IGP President Suresh Nautiyal said the CNP incident was a textbook example of how governments displace the indigenous people from their homeland.

“A responsible government cannot say that the houses of the indigenous Chepang families were burnt because they had encroached upon the government land. In fact, it was just a cruel act to use a horde of elephants to chase away the indigenous people from the CNP,” Mr Nautiyal added.

“The governments must belong to the people, especially to the marginalised communities, and formulate schemes as per their requirements,” the IGP President pointed out.

Mr Nautiyal said around 60 Chepang families living in Madi municipality-9 of Chitwan (Nepal) were already affected by the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; and, now they have lost their homes, and have no shelter at a time when monsoon rains are pouring across the country.

According to the local leaders, the CNP officials set fire to Chepang’s houses to drive them away from the land deemed to be part of the conservation area.

Mr Nautiyal wondered why a team led by the CNP warden reached there and burnt down Chepang’s houses without listening to their cry for help when these people were allowed by the local government to build their huts in Kusum Khola area of Madi municipality.

Placed at the bottom of Human Development Index (HDI), Chepang people suffer from poverty, lack of access to government services and illiteracy. Most Chepang people hail from the hills of Makawanpur and Gorkha district. Those living in Madi had reached there after being displaced by natural disasters in Makwanpur.

“It is sad that the governments the world over have always targeted indigenous communities living around the protected areas because they are voiceless and helpless,” the IGP President lamented.

Press Statement issued by Michael Rajchandra, IGP International Secretary.