India continues to be under fire in Nepal


Kathmandu : Rejecting the Indian embassy’s statement that there had been no violation of the international border or attacks on Nepalis by Indian security forces, two separate Nepali teams Monday headed to inspect the reportedly troubled areas even as two petitioners asked the apex court to intervene in the matter.

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Eighteen parliamentary parties of Nepal, including the ruling Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist and the Maoists, sent a combined team headed by lawmaker Amik Sherchan to the western Dang district Monday after growing reports in the Nepali media that hundreds of villagers had been forced to flee their homes following attacks by Indian border security forces.

The team will inspect 22 border points in southern Nepal from Bara to Dang to investigate the allegations, Sherchan said after a meeting of the 18 parties Sunday.

A second team of parliamentarians is also leaving for Dang Monday to inspect the 22 border points and speak to the local residents. The Foreign Relations and Human Rights Committee of parliamentarians is undertaking the inspection.

Meanwhile, lawyer Santosh Basnet and journalist Pushpa Thapaliya filed a public interest litigation in Nepal’s Supreme Court, accusing the government of having failed to protect its citizens in the border areas.

The petitioners have asked the apex court to order the government to protect border villages from encroachment by India.

The Prime Minister’s Office, council of ministers, home ministry and land reforms and management ministry have been named in the petition as having failed to execute their responsibilities.

The Maoists, who have been blaming India for the collapse of their government, have also jumped into the fray.

On Sunday, when the former rebels disrupted parliament yet again, their lawmaker Agni Sapkota raised the demand for the return of the Indian ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood, saying the envoy had exceeded his brief in the border dispute.

The Maoist MP was referring to a denial issued by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu that said the reports of encroachment and attacks by Indian border security forces were “motivated by vested interests in an attempt to vitiate the friendly and cordial relationship between India and Nepal”.