KATHMANDU, July 23: The locals of Lalitpur have decided to withdraw their banda temporarily after the government on Tuesday announced to hold talks with them on the issue of the relocation of squatters to Sundarighat.
Protesting against the government´s decision to resettle the squatters evicted from Thapathali earlier this year to Sundarighat, the locals had announced 3 days of banda and held it on Sunday and Monday.
Talking to Republica, Chinu Basnet, who has been leading the locals against the relocation, said that the banda was withdrawn also in view of naag panchami celebration, a day of religious importance for the Hindus.
“Tomorrow is naag panchami and we wish the day to go peacefully. Also, the government has agreed to hold talks with us. We hope the dialogue to be fruitful,” Basnet said.
According to Basnet, the locals are in no mood for compromise and they want removal of the cottages erected by the government for settling 48 squatter families. "We have not stepped back from our demand. We will launch severe protests if government decides against us," she stressed.
Meanwhile, Indra Lama, coordinator of Squatters Resettlement Struggle Committee, said that they are ready to move to the new place if the government assures their safety. “We can settle anywhere the government wants us to. The only condition is that there should be proper security and all squatters should get to live peacefully,” Lama said.