KATHMANDU, June 19: Thousands of protesters have gathered at Maitighar Mandala demanding the cancelation of controversial Guthi Bill.
Following a public pressure from traditional Guthi supporters, stakeholders, opposition Nepali Congress and lawmakers from ruling Nepal Communist Party, the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation withdrew the bill through a press conference on Tuesday evening. But, the protesters have demanded the government scrap the bill citing it is a threat to centuries-old culture and tradition. They have said the protest will not stop until the bill is totally canceled.
The protesters have expressed dissatisfaction over some of the provisions of the Guthi Bill– especially the formation of Guthi Authority to oversee the Guthi properties that would effectively end the role of existing trustees who have so far been running the Guthis and the provision that would allow one occupying the Guthi land to acquire ownership certificates.
The agitators have surrounded the Mandala chanting slogans to scrap the bill and preserve the Guthi tradition, and demanding the resignation of Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Baskota, who had termed the Guthi tradition as “a symbol of feudalism”.
Yesterday, the opposition NC had obstructed the parliament barring Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli to address the parliament about his recent Europe visit and the Guthi Bill. Later in the evening, PM Oli had organized a press conference and expressed support for the withdrawal of the bill.