Vehemently denying the claim of Thonglang Atongba Village Authority, the Gorkha leaders of Irang Part-I contended that signboards were put up in Irang Part-I jurisdiction and not in Thonglang Atongba jurisdiction as claimed by the village authority.
Talking to the media in Kangpokpi town on Thursday, the Gorkha leaders led by Sagar Gewali, former ADC Sadar Hills councillor and Man Kumar Yogi, chairman, Lamchok, alleged that the Thonglang Atongba Village Authority intended to grab Gorkha's grazing land by putting up signboards in the name of their forefather's historical monuments when there are no such monuments related to Thonglang Atongba within Irang Part-I jurisdiction.
Strongly refuting the Thonglang Atongba VA's alleged fabricated historical monuments story within Irang Part-I jurisdiction, the Gorkha leaders pointed out that the place where the signboards/nameplates are put up legitimately falls under Irang Part-I Gorkha Grazing village land and Thonglang Atongba village authority cannot simply claim ownership of our occupied land just by a fabricated story.
Rebutting TAVA's claim of the Gorkhas paying Rampon (customary land tax), the Gorkha leaders maintained that Thonglang Atongba village has a separate jurisdiction while Irang Part-I is specially reserved by the then Government and state Durbar since 1920 for Gorkha's Grazing Reserve as the Gorkhas residing in the area paid grazing tax which we continue paying it till now to the Government, and there is no question of paying Rampon or Customary land tax to them.
According to the Gorkha leaders, Thonglang Atongba Village Authority on August 26 put up sign boards/nameplates at Manedara, Ghimerethari, and Chuchekhop under Irang Part-I jurisdiction, which the Gorkhas considered an intention to grab Irang Part-I Gorkha Grazing village land and its ownership.
Considering the intent of the Thonglang Atongba Village Authority can provoke communal tension between the Nepali villagers and Thonglang Atongba villagers, the Gorkha leaders approached Deputy Commissioner Kangpokpi with a complaint and requested the district administration to remove the signboards at the earliest to avoid any communal tension.
Recalling past similar incidents, the Gorkha leaders pointed out that Thonglang villagers frequently disturb the peace-loving Gorkha community of Irang Part-I in some way or other for the past many years.
In 2016, Thonglang Atongba villagers burnt down the residential house of Gyan Bahadur Bomjan, a village chairman at 9 miles Poudel Basti which resulted in the setting up of a police outpost. However, the outpost was withdrawn during the pandemic COVID-19.
Taking advantage of the withdrawal of the police outpost, the villagers of Thonglang Atongba on September 7 last started encroaching on the land at 9 miles Poudel Basti and fell down many trees. On our complaint, the then Superintendent of Police Kangpokpi called both the parties, and an understanding was signed on September 9, 2021, narrated the Gorkha leaders.
Even after the agreement, Thonglang Atongba youth started quarrying and cutting rocks at 9 miles Poudel Basti and they were driven away by the police and the district administration team, they added.
Negating the Thonglang Atongba VA's claim of few Gorkha leaders being no more residents of Thonglang areas, the Gorkha leaders rebutted that they were never residents of Thonglang Atongba areas since birth rather they are bonafide residents of Irang Part-I and there is no question of us being no longer a resident of Thonglang area.
Censuring the statement of TAVA about many more prominent activities in the pipeline to protect and preserve their legendary monuments, the Gorkha leaders said that the TAVA statement clearly demonstrated their intention to flare up communal tension which the authority concerned should take immediate action.
The Gorkha leaders also appealed to the district administration and other authorities concerned to immediately remove the illegal signboards put up within the jurisdiction of Irang Part-I Gorkha's Grazing land to avoid any unwanted communal incidents.