Local residents of Gaur, Rautahat, have lamented the failure of police administration to arrest people involved in a plot to capture the land of Gaur Rice Mills, including a government employee who confessed he forged official documents.
Set up in 1946, the mill was closed after 22 years due to various reasons. As the mill could never resume operation, its land was being used as playground and programme venue for political parties and other organisations.
As per official records, attempts to capture the valuable land property of the mill had started in 2008 with the mill's self-proclaimed Secretary Baikuntha Poudel turning the mill into a company.
In view of the conspiracies hatched by the land mafia, the then government led by Madhav Kumar Nepal in 2008, following the frequent delegations of locals, had decided to bring the valuable land under government control to protect it from being captured by the land mafia.
Though the government decision had ended the dirty machinations of the land mafia eyeing the valuable property, the land was again exposed to such attempts following the Supreme Court's verdict invalidating the government's decision, citing procedural matters.
Lately, the conspiracy-related to the land has once again hit the headlines after it was revealed that how some local representatives, government employees and the local cricket association officials were hand-in-gloves in a plot to get the land transferred to private ownership.
Secretary of Ward 1 of Gaur Municipality Binod Paswan, allegedly involved in the forging official document, is said to have fled to India, from where he published a video record a few days ago saying he had been told to do so by Lal Mohammad, a member of Ward 3 of Gaur Municipality.
Locals have expressed discontent at the police failure to arrest the elected local representatives and government employee even after their complicity in the attempted land fraud was learnt.
"Even if ward secretary Paswan was involved and he himself had confessed it, there is no FIR filed against him," said UML youth leader Amit Thakur of Gaur. Locals suspect an attempt to save those involved in the attempted fraud by sending ward secretary Paswan into hiding in India.
Thakur also wondered why Paswan was not arrested.
Commenting on the issue, SP Binod Ghimire of Rautahat District Police Office, said they couldn't arrest Paswan and others said to be involved in the case due to the fact that no FIR had been filed against them.
A version of this article appears in the print on March 3, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.