PM Oli asks India to withdraw security forces from Kalapani

K P Oli

KATHMANDU, Nov 17: Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has asked India to remove its security forces from the Kalapani region.

The disputed region of Kalapani, which covers an area of 374 square km, has been controlled by the Indian border police since the 1962 Indo-China War although Nepal claims the territory as part of Darchula district based on the official map released by British East India Company after 1816 Sugauli Treaty.

Nepal has laid claim to the entire regions, including Kalapani and Lipulekh, east of Limpiadura saying Limpiadura is the origin of Mahakali river, which marks the international border. But, India claims the regions are its sovereign territory saying the Kali river is the actual boundary.

The issue of border encroachment by India gained national attention yet again after India released its political map on Oct 31 which placed the areas Kalapani and Lipulekh inside its border.

Public and the political parties have taken to streets for days now pressuring the government to safeguard Nepal’s sovereign territory. Protest and demonstration have engulfed the country against India’s new map and claim over the Nepali regions while #GoBackIndia remains the most popular hashtag in twitter.

“We cannot accept encroachment of an inch of our land. Withdraw your security force from Kalapani,” said PM Oli while addressing the first meeting of the National Youth Association, a sister wing of the ruling Nepali Communist Party.

Oli’s remarks come at a time when the main opposition party Nepali Congress is criticizing the prime minister of zipping his lip on the national issue.

“The encroachment of Nepali lands was the result of weaknesses of the previous governments. But, the incumbent government is capable of returning the Indian border police from Kalapani,” he added.

Earlier, China also urged Nepal and India to resolve the border issue through talks while denying the reports that China has also encroached Nepali lands as baseless.