Loan shark victims walked to Kathmandu, but justice remains elusive

Victims of Loan shark staging protest in Kathmandu. Photo: Chandra Bahadur Ale
Victims of Loan shark staging protest in Kathmandu. Photo: Chandra Bahadur Ale

Nirmala Devi, 23, from Sunsari, arrived in Kathmandu after a 23-day journey on foot. On February 23, she headed towards Singhadarbar, participating in a protest organised by loan shark victims.

Upon reaching the Bhrikutimandap gate, they were stopped by the police. Nirmala Devi and others were instructed not to proceed any further, so they stood there. Shortly afterwards, she fainted.

“I haven’t eaten well for the last 23 days,” says Nirmala Devi. “My leg hurts from walking.”

She came to Kathmandu seeking justice. A loan shark took all her land and all she could do now was walk to Kathmandu and appeal to the government for help.

Fiver years ago, Nirmala Devi took a loan of Rs 15,000 from a loan shark. She’s paid Rs 50,000 so far but due to the high compound interest, her loan has yet to be settled. That resulted in the loan shark taking her 3,645 square feet of land by forging documents. 

“He tells me I need to pay Rs 150,000 to get back the land,” says Nirmala Devi.

Shocked she went to the local government office seeking help asking it to get her land back from the loan shark.

“But he had documents and I was told the land belonged to him,” she says.

That is why she walked to Kathmandu from Sunsari a journey that took her 23 days.

“I hope Kathmandu will help me get back my land,” she says.

She understands that unless the fake documents of the loan shark are deemed void, she will not get back her land.

“The loan shark possesses documents, which gives him strength,” she says hoping the central government can help her.

Victims of loan shark. Photo: Chandra Bahadur Ale
People stage a sit-in protest demanding justice. Photo: Chandra Bahadur Ale

Ram Lochan Pasmari, aged 65, from Dhanusha, Janakpur, has also arrived in Kathmandu with a similar demand as Nirmala Devi.

He had taken a loan of Rs 8,000 from a loan shark. After two years, he attempted to repay Rs 20,000 to the loan shark. However, the loan shark refused to accept the payment. Later, it was discovered that the loan shark had forged documents indicating a loan amount of Rs 200,000.

Subsequently, the loan shark filed a case against Pasmari based on these fake documents. The court sent a letter to Pasmari’s residence. Since Pasmari lacks proper documentation, he will likely lose the case.

“I have reached out to local government and District Administration Office multiple times, seeking justice,” says Pasmari.  “But none of them have shown me a hope of justice, so I decided to come to Kathmandu by foot.”

He says that the root issue lies in the fake documents fabricated by the loan shark. He remains hopeful that the central government will deliver justice to him.

Nirmala Devi, Ram Lochan Pasmari, and scores of others, all victims of loan sharks, have undertaken a 23-day journey by foot to Kathmandu, seeking justice.

Although the government has established a committee to address the concerns of victims of loan sharks, justice remains elusive.

People from all over Nepal have traversed to Kathmandu on foot, harbouring hopes of receiving justice. Their determination led them to stage protests in Bhadrakali, situated in front of Singhadarbar.

Despite their intention to enter Singhadarbar, they were intercepted by police at the gates of Bhrikutimandap. Following an hour-long protest, they were only permitted to proceed up to Bhadrakali.

The government, fearing these people, barred people from walking on the pavement of Singhadurbar for two days. Some even forced entry into the parliament building on Monday. That has forced the government to take a back foot, and in an authoritarian move, barred people from walking on the pavement of both Singhadarbar and the parliament building.

The post Loan shark victims walked to Kathmandu, but justice remains elusive appeared first on OnlineKhabar English News.

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