Indo-Nepal border sealed for Nepali polls


Rupaidiha (Indo-Nepal Border) : The usually bustling Indo-Nepal border post in this Uttar Pradesh town wore a deserted look Thursday as the 700-km long border were sealed for the Himalayan kingdom’s crucial polls.

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Uttar Pradesh closed the border Monday evening ahead of Nepal’s constituent assembly elections Thursday.

“The ban on movement will remain in force until the polling comes to an end in the evening,” Bahraich district Superintendent of Police Rajesh Modak told IANS.

Even pedestrians were not allowed to cross over from either side. Likewise, media persons were also denied passage with effect from Wednesday night.

According to the officials, the restrictions on movements of people from either side were largely due to the turbulent history of the Maoist affected areas of southern Nepal.

The enforcement of the ban on movement left thousands of Nepalis stranded on the Indian side of the border for almost 24 hours until the administration decided to allow them passage Tuesday evening.

The local residents termed the restrictions as “unprecedented”.

“Never before in my 30 years of stay in Rupaidiha have I seen the border this deserted. At least 7,000-10,000 people cross to both sides every day,” remarked a shopkeeper.

A strict vigil was being kept all along the otherwise highly porous forest areas by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) troopers deployed. “The whole idea is to keep undesirable elements away,” remarked a SSB official.