Formal Book Launch: Border Man of Nepal

Formal Book Launch : BORDER MAN OF NEPAL

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

Formal Book Launch.

BORDER MAN OF NEPAL

Launched jointly by three personalities:

– 95 years of age Senior-most Advocate Krishna Prasad Bhandari,

– 92 years old Senior-most Journalist Bhairab Risal and

– 87 years Development Activist Badri Prasad Khatiwada.

During the book launch programme, chief guest of the programme, Senior-most Advocate Krishna Prasad Bhandari said, this book should be read by all to know the information on our boundaries.

As a guest of the programme, Senior-most Journalist Bhairab Risal mentioned, this book is Buddhi Narayan’s thirteenth book. He may write more books in the days to come to make awareness to the Nepali society, especially the new generation.

President of Human Rights Preservation Forum and Development Activist Badri Prasad Khatiwada expressed during his welcome speech that it’s a matter of pride and privilege to organize a programme to launch the book of border expert Buddhi Narayan Shrestha entitled ‘Border Man of Nepal’ by our Forum.  The subject matter and content of this book should reach to the high ranking authorities of Nepal government. If the prime minister and ministers read this book, it will help to talk and negotiate with our nieghbour India, on the border issue of Limpiyadhura-Kalapani-Lipulek.

As the author of the book, I mentioned, this has been written in English to provide information and knowledge of the boundary issues of Nepal also to the foreigners. I have mentioned in the book, Junga Bahadur is the only Prime Minister of Nepal till this date that he furiously wrote a letter to Fort William of the Foreign Department of British India Government, sent through G Ramsay of British Legation, on 7th April 1862. Junga Bahadur expressed his exasperation on removal of border pillars, by the British India, located in the east of Gorakhpur. These pillars were erected in the Jamuna village area for years on mutual consent between two nations. But that were removed all of a sudden by the British Surveyors. Consequently, that encroached 110 hectares of Nepali land. This has developed ill-feeling and strong hostility against British regime.

Replying to Junga Bahadur’s letter, the British Governor-General had ascertained the boundary line between Rapti and Mohana River that would get marked with a fine-tuned concrete pillar number-13 to 22 and 98 to 171. Junga Bahadur had made compelled the British to restore the missing Junge pillars on its previous spot. As a field experience I have also narrated that, with this example, our claim and counter-claim may help to restore the missing Junge pillars on its previous spot.

While we had visited Hile Bhanjyang of Ilam district, local resident Pemba Bhotia said to us ‘As I had slept at night as Nepali identity on 8 July 2002; next morning when I  got up, I found being transformed into Indian national. On the night of 8 July, while we were in deep sleep, some Indians erected a new small size boundary pillar number 71/22 on that hillock (he pointed by hand). We didn’t know it at night. Next morning when I went just out of home for urination, I witnessed that new pillar has been erected. It caused our six houses including a government sub-customs office (now located in the east of that boundary pillar); transformed to Indian frontier No-man’s Land area to become us as Indians. Such types of on the spot visit experiences, I have included in the book.

Senior Journalist and writer on regional issues, Dhruba Hari Adhikari and Tribhuvan University Retiree Teacher Rameswar Prasad Baral had commented on the book.

During his comment speech, Dhruba Hari Adhikari said, this book has many facts & figures and maps with border interpretation. In one sense, it is an autobiography of a border man of Nepal. In the other aspect, it has included interesting incidents of the boundaries that has described a considerable number of Junge (Jumbo) boundary pillars have been missing from the ground. Some others have been in the dilapidated condition. It has warned the government to resolve the border issues of Nepal with India. Besides, the writer of  this book has mentioned that he has visited and inspected on the spot especially Nigeria-Benin border and North-South Korea barbed fencing border line along demilitarized zone (DMZ). Regarding other countries, he has visited Canada-America open border, Malaysia-Singapore land border, Japan-South Korea (Fukuoka-Busan) maritime border. All these have been written with practical experiences. However this book is not exempted from pronunciation, punctuation, and some spelling mistakes. But it has not decreased the value and importance of the book. It is readable to gain the knowledge and information on the boundaries of Nepal.

Another commentator Tribhuvan University Retiree Teacher Rameswar Prasad Baral said, this book has reminded the border encroachment and disappearance of Junge Pillars of Bhatigach village of Morang district, as he had visited this area. He narrated that Buddhi Narayan Shrestha is one of the ambassadors of the nation's overall geography and boundary lines. Although a (Department of National Survey) retiree, he is frequently trending loud in support of the government and its authorities. His knowledge and experience, as used, raise our awareness of the concerns like Kalapani and Susta border issues, as well as of many other missing, lost or trespassed border posts. Generally speaking, a retiree spends their time either with grandkids or is a jetsetter (across the seven seas) or runs and bows around diverse pilgrimage centres. However, his constant undivided trending is against the encroachment of the nation’s boundaries. 

 

 

 

Life Entangled in Tuin Wire-rope

Life Entangled in Tuin Wire-rope

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

तुइनकोतारडोरीमाअल्झेकोजीवन

दार्चुलामा भारतीय एसएसबीले तुइन फुस्काएको घटनाको सत्यतथ्य जाँचबुझ गरी प्रतिवेदन प्रस्तुत गर्न गृह मन्त्रालयका सहसचिव जनार्दन गौतमको संयोजकत्वमा बनेको समितिले क्षेत्रगत अध्ययन अनुसन्धान गरीे प्रतिवेदन बुझाउने थप अवधि १ भदौसम्म थियो । तर, छानबिन टोलीले यी हरफ लेख्दासम्म प्रतिवेदन बुझाएको पाइएको छैन । खासमा जयसिंह धामीको खोजीलाई प्राथमिकता दिइएकाले र भारतीय एसएसबीको संलग्नताबारे कति बोल्ने भन्नेबारे निधो नगरिएकाले प्रतिवेदन अड्किएको अनुमान छ ।

प्रतिवेदन नै सरकारको अन्तिम धारणा हुन सक्छ । सत्यतथ्य विवरणको प्रतिवेदन तयार हुँदा त्यसले सरकारमाथि जनताको विश्वास रहन्छ । स्थानीयका अनुसार एसएसबीले तुइनको डोरी फुस्काएको प्रतिवेदन आउँदा नेपाल–भारत सम्बन्धमा खलल पर्दैन, नफुस्काएको बनावटी विवरण उल्लेख गर्दा पनि दुई देशको सम्बन्ध ह्वात्तै बढ्दैन । सत्य सदा सत्य नै रहन्छ । व्यास क्षेत्रका मलाई चिनेका तर मैले नचिनेकाहरूले जिज्ञासा गरिरहेकाले यी हरफ कोर्न लागेको छु । 

दार्चुला व्यास गाउँपालिका–२ राङथाङ बस्तीनिवासी ३३ वर्षीय जयसिंह धामी नेपाल र भारतबीच बग्ने महाकाली नदीमाथि टाँगिएको तुइनडोरीको सहायताले नेपाली नदी किनारबाट भारतीय किनारातिर तानिदै थिए । टुँडी रूखको फेदमा बेरिएको तारडोरी भारतीय एसएसबीका जवानले फुस्काइदिँदा डोरी नदीको पानीमा लत्रिन पुग्यो । त्यही तारडोरीमा अडिएका धामी पानीमा बजारिए । उनलाई पानीको वेगले बगाएर कता पु¥यायो कता, तीन हप्ता बितिसक्यो, उनको लास अझै पत्ता लाग्न सकेको छैन । धामी भारतीय भूमिमा पुग्न दुई मिटरको मात्र फासला बाँकी थियो ।

तुइनमा मान्छे छ भन्दै नेपालतिरबाट चिच्याउँदाचिच्याउँदै अटेर गरी धामी आइपुग्न लागेको देख्दादेख्दै पनि एसएसबीले नेपालीको ज्यान लियो । यो कार्य अमानवीय, ज्यानमारा र अनुचित रहेको अहिले नेपाली र भारतीय सीमावर्ती जनताले भनिरहेका छन् । ०५० सालयता महाकाली नदीमाथिबाट तुइन तर्ने क्रममा २६ जनाले ज्यान गुमाइसकेका छन् । अझ कतिले गुमाउने हुन्, थाहा छैन । सीमाञ्चल क्षेत्रमा किन यस्ता जघन्य अपराध वेलाकुवेला गरिन्छन् ? के यस्ता घटना÷दुर्घटना रोक्न सकिँदैन ? यसको जवाफ सीमावर्ती जनतालाई कसले दिने हो ? नेपाली जनता यसको तथ्य जान्न उत्सुक छन् ।

भारतीय असहयोग : एक, मानिस आइरहेको छ भनेर कराउँदाकराउँदै पनि भारतीय एसएसबीले तुइन फुस्काई असहयोग गर्‍यो । दुई, मृतक जयसिंह धामीको शव खोज्न घटनास्थल पुगेको गृह सहसचिवको टोलीलाई महाकालीपश्चिम भारतीय नदी किनारमा क्यामेरायुक्त ड्रोन उडाएर खोजी गर्ने अनुमति नदिई भारतले असहयोग गर्‍यो । साउन २७ गते नेपाली पक्षले आफ्नो तर्फका नदी किनारैकिनार ३५ किलोमिटरसम्म ड्रोन उडाउँदा भारतले निगरानी बढाएको थियो । तीन, तुइन फुस्काइएको हो–होइन भनी सोधखोज गर्नुपर्नेमा उल्टै तुइन काटेको हल्ला फिजाएको भन्दै धार्चुला तहसिल पांगा क्षेत्रका तीनजना भारतीय नागरिकलाई भारतले कारबाही गर्‍यो ।

भनिन्छ, नेपाल र भारतबीच जनस्तरमा पनि गाढा सम्बन्ध छ । तर, तुइनमा झुन्डिएको सीमाञ्चलको सम्बन्ध अहिले छटपटिइरहेको अवस्थामा छ । यस्तो छटपटीलाई दुवै देश मिलेर कसरी शमन गर्न सकिन्छ भन्ने आपसी बलियो र भरपर्दो संयन्त्र निर्माण गर्न सरकार लागिपर्नु पर्छ ।

चार, दार्चुलाका प्रमुख जिल्ला अधिकारीले भारतीय समकक्षी डिस्ट्रिक्ट मजिस्ट्रेट आनन्द स्वरूपलाई पठाएको १५ साउनको पत्रको जवाफमा खोजतलासै नगरी घटनामा एसएसबीको संलग्नता नभएको भन्ने जवाफ पठाइयो । पाँच, मृतक धामीका आफन्तले घटनाको छानबिन गरिपाऊँ भनी महाकालीपारि भारतको पाङ्ला ठानामा घटना भएको तेस्रो दिनमा निवेदन दिएकोमा यसबारे केही कारबाही गरेनन् । सोधखोज गर्ने चासो नै देखाइएन ।

छ, जयसिंह धामीलाई महाकालीको पानीमा खसाएपछि ती धामीभन्दा अगाडि तुइन तरेका प्रत्यक्षदर्शी कल्याणसिंह धामी तथा ७० वर्षीय गौरसिंह धामीले तुइन फुस्काउने दुईजना एसएसबी ब्यारेकतर्फ भागेको देखेका थिए । सात, नेपालबाट महाकालीपारि जाने १० तुइन विस्थापित गरी झोलुंगे पुल बनाउन नेपालले प्रस्ताव गरे तापनि भारतले चार ठाउँ (मालघाट, मेलघट्टे, बडुगाउँ मालिकार्जुन र बाँकु)मा मात्र सहमति दिएको थियो । आठ, मालघाटमा पुलको शिलान्यास भएपछि भारतततर्फ लठ्ठा बनाउन नदिएपछि काम रोकिएको छ । पुल बनाउँदा नेपाल र भारत दुवैतिर पर्ने भएकाले भारतको सहमति आवश्यक पर्ने हुन्छ । 

नेपालको निरीहता : एक, सरकारले तीन वर्षअघि मालघाट (अहिले तुइन काण्ड भएको स्थान) मा तीन करोडको लागतमा झोलुंगे पुल बनाउन ठेक्का लगाएको थियो । तर, ठेकदारले पारिपट्टि काम गर्न दिइएन भनी अहिलेसम्म काम सुरु गर्न नै सकेको छैन । सरकारी संयन्त्रबाट यसमा पहल हुन नसकेको बुझिन्छ । दुई, तुइन जोड्न नदिएपछि त्यस क्षेत्रमा खाद्यान्नको अभाव भएको छ । पारिबाट ल्याउन सम्भव भएको छैन, सरकारले खाद्यवस्तु उपलब्ध गराउन सकेको छैन । तीन, १२ वर्षअघि शिलान्यास भएको दार्चुला–टिंकर सडक निर्माण हुन सकेको छैन ।

सरकारको प्राथमिकतामा नपरेकाले अहिले धामीजस्ता व्यास क्षेत्रका जनता भारततर्फ आवागमन गर्ने क्रममा तुइनको जोखिममा परेका छन् । चार, ०७२ असोज २२ मा केपी शर्मा ओली प्रधानमन्त्री भएपछि देशभर रहेका तुइन, साँघु, फट्केलाई विस्थापित गरी झोलुंगे पुल बनाइने प्रचार गरेका थिए । नयाँ सरकार गठन भएको एक वर्ष भएको अवसरमा ०७५ फागुन २ मा प्रधानमन्त्री ओलीले आफूले  सुरु गरेको तुइन विस्थापित गर्ने अभियान अन्तिम चरणमा पुगेको बताएका थिए । तर, माथिल्लो व्यास क्षेत्रमा झोलुंगे पुल बन्न सकेन । फलस्वरूप जयसिंह धामी महाकाली नदीभित्र कालको मुखमा परे । पाँच, हालका प्रधानमन्त्री शेरबहादुर देउवा दार्चुला घटनालाई गम्भीर रूपमा लिएको छु भन्छन् । तर, उनले खास कदम उठाएका छैनन् । छ, प्रतिनिधिसभा, राष्ट्रिय सभा तथा अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय समितिमा के कारण कसरी घटना हुन पुग्यो र मृतक धामीको शव पत्ता लगाउने काम सम्बन्धमा सरकारको जवाफ मागिएको छ । तर, यस सम्बन्धमा छिमेकीले असहयोग गरेको कुरामा सरकार मौन छ । सरकार निरीह भएको बुझ्न सकिन्छ ।

एसएसबीका कारण नेपाली नागरिक धामीको ज्यान गयो भनी देश–विदेशमा रहेका नेपाली समुदायले विरोध गरेपछि त्यसको प्रतिशोधस्वरूप तुइनमार्गमा भारतले नाकाबन्दी गरेको स्थानीय जनमानसमा परेको छ 

तुइनमार्गमा नाकाबन्दी : गृह मन्त्रालयबाट छानबिन टोली घटनास्थलमा पुग्ने क्रममा भारतीय पक्षले साउन २८ देखि माथिल्लो व्यास क्षेत्रको तुइनमार्गमा नाकाबन्दी गरेको छ । कल्यानसिंह धामीले दशकौँदेखि मालघाटमा हिउँदमा रु ५० र वर्षात्मा १०० शुल्क लिएर तुइन तार्ने काम गर्दै आइरहेका छन् । परम्परागत रूपमा चलनचल्तीमा रहेका तुइनमार्गमा रोक लगाउँदा दुवै देशबीचका मानवीय व्यवहार र भाइचाराको नाता रहन्छ–रहँदैन भन्नेमा दुवैतर्फकाले ध्यान पुर्‍याउनुपर्छ ।

व्यास गाउँपालिकामा गाटीबगर, कुल्जु, घट्टेखोला, तल्लो दुम्लिन, रिठान, बिन्दला, मालघाट, बतीबगर, मेलघट्टे र दोकटमा गरी १० स्थानमा तुइन रहेका छन् । यी स्थानका सीमावर्ती जनता महाकाली नदीमाथिको फलामे तारमा झुन्डिएर सीमा वारपार गर्नुपर्ने बाध्यतामा छन् । व्यास गाउँपालिकाबाट सदरमुकाम खलंगा जान नेपालको बाटोबाट डेढ दिन पैदल हिँड्नुपर्छ । तुइन तरी भारत भएर जाँदा मोटर चढेर डेढ घन्टामा पुगिन्छ । भन्न त नेपाल–भारत सीमा खुला छ, एकआपसका जनता दुवैतिर ओहोरदोहोर गर्न सक्छन् भनिन्छ, तर भारतीय व्यवहारमा यस्तो देखिँदैन । एसएसबीका कारण नेपाली नागरिक धामीको ज्यान गयो भनी देश–विदेशमा रहेका नेपाली समुदायले विरोध गरेपछि त्यसको प्रतिशोधस्वरूप तुइनमार्गमा भारतले नाकाबन्दी गरेको स्थानीय जनमानसमा परेको छ ।

अन्य केही घटना : कञ्चनपुर जिल्लाको सीमावर्ती पुनर्वास नगरपालिका वडा नं. ८ मा नेपालीहरूले कच्ची बाटो र कलभर्ट निर्माण गर्ने क्रममा नेपालतर्फबाट भारतीय एसएसबीलाई जानकारी गराई सहमति लिइएको थियो । तर, ०७३, २६ फागुनमा एसएसबीका २०–२५ जवान अचानक आएर गुगल नक्साअनुसार यो भारतीय भूमि पर्छ भन्दै निर्माण भइसकेको कलभर्टको इँटा उप्काउन थालेपछि नेपाली र भारतीय पक्षबीच विवाद भयो ।

ढुंगा हानाहानको सिलसिलामा भारतीय एसएसबीका थानेदार सइ अरविन्दकुमार शुक्लालाई छातीमा ढुंगाले लाग्यो । शुक्ला आवेशमा आई आफ्नो पेस्तोलबाट गोली चलाए । उनले प्रहार गरेको तीन गोलीसम्म कसैलाई लागेन । तर, चौथो गोली भिडभाडभन्दा निकै पर रहेका गोविन्द गौतमलाई लाग्यो । उनी कलभर्टभन्दा ६०–७० मिटर नेपालतर्फ ढले, उनको प्राण गयो । निकै दिनसम्म हल्लाखल्ला भयो । घटनामा मारिएका गोविन्द गौतमका परिवारलाई सरकारका तर्पmबाट तत्कालीन गृहमन्त्री विमलेन्द्र निधिले १० लाख रुपैयाँको चेक हस्तान्तरण गरे, घटना सामसुम भयो ।

यो घटना हुनुको मूल कारणचाहिँ जंगे खम्बा नम्बर २०० लोप हुन गएकाले हो । आनन्दबजारनजिक दुम्के डाँडा (कारगिल डाँडा) भनिने क्षेत्रको दक्षिणमा खम्बा नं. २०० खडा रहनुपर्ने हो । तर, त्यो स्तम्भ दशकौँअघि भत्काई लोप गरिएकाले वेलाबखत वादविवाद हुने गथ्र्याे । जंगे खम्बा त्यहाँ खडा भइरहेको भए सायद नेपालीको ज्यान जाने थिएन होला । कञ्चनपुर सीमा घटनाको समाधान गर्न र यो नै घटना अन्तिम पार्न आनन्दबजार दक्षिणको लोप भएको जंगे सीमाखम्बा नं. २०० र अन्य क्षेत्रका यसैगरी हराएका र नासिएका सीमाखम्बा दुवै देशका प्राविधिकको उपस्थितिमा अविलम्ब यथास्थानमा स्थापना गरिनुपर्ने हो । तर, हालसम्म पुनस्र्थापना हुन सकेको छैन ।

भारतीय एसएसबीको नेपालीप्रतिको दुव्र्यवहार उल्लेख गर्दा ०६७, १२ जेठमा मोरङको खयरबना सीमा–नाकाबाट दुई सय मिटर नेपालतर्फ आएर भारतीय एसएसबी इन्स्पेक्टर हितेन्द्र सिंहले मादक पदार्थ सेवन गरी सर्वसाधारणलाई पेस्तोलबाट गोली प्रहार गर्दा आफ्नो घरको पिँढीमा बसिरहेका अमाहिवरियाती वडा–७ का ५५ वर्षीय वासुदेव साहलाई गोली लागेर पिँढीमै मृत्यु भएको घटना पनि सम्झना आउँछ । बर्दिया जमुनी–९ का ५० वर्षीय हर्कबहादुर शाहीले एसएसबी जवानलाई नेपाली जंगलमा सिकार खेल्न रोक लगाएकाले नेपाल–भारत सीमाको ४३ र ४४ नं. जंगे खम्बाबीचमा भारतीय जवानले त्यसै वर्षको ११ चैतमा शाहीलाई गोली हानेर मारेका थिए । 

अन्तमा, तुइन काण्डको छानबिन गर्न गएको टोलीले ढिलोचाँडो प्रतिवेदन बुझाइसकेपछिको अवस्था के होला त ? मृतक धामीको परिवारलाई १० लाख रकम क्ष्तिपूर्तिस्वरूप दिइएला, समय बितेपछि घटना सेलाउँछ अनि सबै चुपचाप । जुनसुकै घटनाका समय हामी बेस्मारी कराउँछौँ, विरोध गर्छौं । तर, भविष्यमा यस्ता घटना नदोहोरिने संयन्त्र विकास गरिँदैन । भनिन्छ, नेपाल र भारतबीच जनस्तरमा पनि गाढा सम्बन्ध छ । तर, तुइनमा झुन्डिएको सीमाञ्चलको सम्बन्ध अहिले छटपटिइरहेको अवस्थामा छ । यस्तो छटपटीलाई दुवै देश मिलेर कसरी शमन गर्न सकिन्छ भन्ने आपसी बलियो र भरपर्दो संयन्त्र निर्माण गर्न सरकार लागिपर्नु पर्छ । सीमाञ्चल क्षेत्रका जनता अनाहकमा मर्नुपर्दैन भन्ने प्रत्याभूति सरकारले दिनुपर्छ । 

Exchange of Frontiers on Lease

Exchange of Frontiers on Lease

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

लिजमा सीमान्त भूमि सट्टापट्टा

नेपालले उपभोग गर्न नसकेको ३७२ वर्गकिमि लिम्पियाधुरा–कालापानी–लिपुलेक क्षेत्र भारतलाई लिजमा दिने र काँकडभिट्टापूर्वदेखि भारतका सिलिगुडी, विधाननगर, च्याङ्लाबन्धा हुँदै बंगलादेशको दिनाजपुर जिल्लाको पाँचगढ छुने त्यत्तिकै क्षेत्रफलको भूभाग लिने कार्यविधि बनाउन सकिन्छ कि ?

यूएनडीपीको भ्रष्टाचारविरोधी परियोजनाको सिंगापुरस्थित ‘ग्लोबल प्रोग्राम एडभाइजर’ का रूपमा रहेर ४० भन्दा बढी मुलुकलाई सुशासन र भ्रष्टाचारविरोधी मामिलामा सघाउने कार्य गरिरहेका अंगराज तिमल्सिनाले कान्तिपुर दैनिकसँगको हालैको अन्तर्वार्तामा भनेका छन्, ‘लिम्पियाधुराकै मुद्दामा पनि हामीले आपसी हितका आधारमा संवाद गर्न सक्थ्यौं । निश्चित वर्षसम्म बंगलादेशसम्म पुग्ने करिडोर भारतले हामीलाई लिजमा दिने, त्यसै गरी लिम्पियाधुरा क्षेत्र हामीले भारतलाई लिजमा दिनेतिर अब किन नसोच्ने ? यसमा बंगलादेशसम्म बाटो मात्र होइन, बिजुली पुर्‍याउने र भारतले नेपाललाई थप हवाई मार्ग दिने सवाल पनि जोड्न सकिन्छ । सार्वभौमसत्तामा सम्झौता नगरी दुवै देशलाई परस्पर आर्थिक हित हुने बाटो खोज्न सकिन्छ ।’ यो लेखमा यसै सन्दर्भमा चर्चा गरिनेछ ।

लिजमा लिनेदिने प्रावधान

दुई देशबीच तोकिएको अवधिका लागि जमिन लिजमा लिनेदिने प्रावधान केही देशबीच गरिएको पाइन्छ । उदाहरणका निम्ति, जोर्डनले इजरायललाई सन् १९९४ देखि २०१९ सम्म २५ वर्षका लागि बाकुरा र घामर क्षेत्रको १२०० एकड जमिन लिजमा दिएको थियो । क्युबाले अमेरिकालाई सन् १९५९ मा ग्वान्तानामो खाडी, पेरुले इक्वेडरलाई १९९८ मा आफ्नो केही भूभाग, युक्रेनले रुसलाई २०१७ सम्मका लागि कृष्णसागर समुद्री बन्दरगाह लिजमा दिएको पाइन्छ ।

सट्टापट्टा प्रथा

जमिन सट्टापट्टा गर्ने प्रथा कतिपय देशमा अपनाइएको छ । भारतीय प्रधानमन्त्री नरेन्द्र मोदीले २०७२ जेठ २३ देखि गरेको बंगलादेशको यात्रा क्रममा भारत र बंगलादेशबीच जमिन सीमा सम्झौता भएको थियो । यस सम्झौताअन्तर्गत दुवै देशबीच सीमा विवादमा रहेको ‘इन्क्लेभ (एकअर्काको विदेशी भूमि परिवेष्ठित जमिन)’ साटासाट गरिएको थियो । भारतीय सीमावर्ती क्षेत्रका १११ वटा इन्क्लेभ बंगलादेशलाई सुम्पिइए भने बंगलादेशी सिमानामा रहेका ५१ इन्क्लेभ भारतलाई हस्तान्तरण गरिए ।

यो सम्झौताद्वारा सीमावर्ती विवादित जमिन सट्टापट्टा गर्दा भारतलाई २८८० हेक्टर प्राप्त भएको थियो भने बंगलादेशलाई ६९५० हेक्टर । यी दुवै क्षेत्रमा ५१ हजार मानिसको बसोबास छ । यस सम्झौतालाई मोदीले ‘बर्लिन पर्खाल भत्किए’ झैं भएको विषयका रूपमा लिएका थिए भने बंगलादेशी प्रधानमन्त्री शेख हसिना वाजेदले ६८ वर्ष पुरानो समस्या शान्तिपूर्ण तरिकाले समाधान भयो भनेकी थिइन् । पश्चिम बंगालकी मुख्यमन्त्री ममता बनर्जीले आफू ऐतिहासिक सम्झौताको साक्षी हुन पाउँदा गौरवान्वित भएको बताएकी थिइन् ।

यस्तै, अन्य उदाहरणमा पश्चिम अफ्रिकी देश नाइजरले सन् २०१३ मा २७७ वर्गकिमि जमिन लिएर छिमेकी देश बुर्किना फासोलाई त्यसको सट्टा ७८६ वर्गकिमि दिएको थियो । पोल्यान्ड र सोभियत युनियनबीच सन् १९५१ मा सयौं किलोमिटर टाढाको ४८० वर्गकिमि भूभाग सट्टापट्टा गरिएको थियो ।

नेपालले पनि छिमेकी देश भारत र चीनसँग जमिन सट्टापट्टा गरेका उदाहरण छन् । नेपाल र चीनबीच सीमांकन गर्दा ‘बाउन्डरी एडजस्टमेन्ट’ सिद्धान्त अपनाई दुई देशबीच जमिन सट्टापट्टा गरिएको थियो । यसअनुसार नेपालबाट १८३६ वर्गकिमि भूभाग लिई चीनले २१३९ वर्गकिमि भूमि सुम्पिएको थियो । यसबाट नेपालतर्फ ३०३ वर्गकिमि जमिन बढी आएको थियो ।

यस्तै, शारदा ब्यारेज तथा नहर निर्माणका लागि नेपालले ब्रिटिसकालीन भारतलाई सन् १९२० मा कञ्चनपुरस्थित बनवासाको ४१३० एकड जमिन दिएर त्यसको सट्टामा बर्दियाको राजापुर र दाङको कोइलाबास क्षेत्रको जमिन लिएको थियो । यद्यपि, नेपालले ३६ एकड जमिन पाउन अझै बाँकी छ ।

नेपालले अब पनि उपभोग गर्न नसकेको ३७२ वर्गकिमि लिम्पियाधुरा–कालापानी–लिपुलेक क्षेत्र भारतलाई दिने र काँकडभिट्टादेखि पूर्व भारतका सिलिगुडी, विधाननगर, च्याङलाबन्धा हुँदै बंगलादेश दिनाजपुर जिल्लाको पाँचगढ छुने त्यत्तिकै क्षेत्रफलको भूभाग लिने कार्यविधि भए भारत र नेपालबीच रहेको कालापानीरूपी समस्याको ‘अर्को बर्लिन पर्खाल’ भत्किने थियो कि ? यसबाट नेपालको सिमाना बंगलादेशसम्म पुग्ने थियो । नेपालले बंगलादेशको मंगला बन्दरगाह उपयोग गर्न पाई समुद्रपारबाट कम लागतमा सरसामान आयात–निर्यात हुन सक्ने थियो । नेपालको सिमाना तेस्रो देश पुगी ढुवानी खर्च बचत भएर नेपालको आर्थिक विकासमा मदत पुग्ने थियो ।

नेपालको संविधान–२०७२ को धारा ४(२)(क) मा ‘यो संविधान प्रारम्भ हुँदाका बखतको क्षेत्र’ र (ख) मा ‘यो संविधान प्रारम्भ भएपछि प्राप्त हुने क्षेत्र नेपालको क्षेत्र हुनेछ’ भन्ने उल्लेख छ । यसको तात्पर्य हो— नेपालको क्षेत्रफलमा कहिल्यै कमी हुन दिनु हुँदैन, तर क्षेत्रफल थप भएमा आपत्ति पनि हुँदैन । जमिन सट्टापट्टा गर्न या लिजमा दिन–लिन यी दुवै उपदफा पछि (ग) दफा थप गरी ‘क्षेत्रफलमा र उपयोगितामा कत्ति पनि कमी नहुने गरी छिमेकी मुलुकसँग नेपालको जमिन सट्टापट्टा गर्न सकिनेछ या तोकिएको सर्तमा निश्चित अवधिका लागि लिजमा लिनदिन सकिनेछ, यो प्रावधानका लागि संसद्को दुईतिहाइ मत आवश्यक पर्छ’ भन्ने प्रावधान राख्नुपर्ने हुन्छ । यस्ता प्रावधानका कारण केही मात्रामा भए पनि नेपालको आर्थिक मजबुती हुनेछ । यसबाट छिमेकी देशसँगको सीमा समस्या समाधान भई दुवै देशबीचको सम्बन्ध अझ प्रगाढ र फराकिलो हुनेछ ।

एकै देशको भूमि दुईतिर

काँकडभिट्टाबाट बंगलादेश छुने कोरिडोर नेपाललाई सट्टापट्टामा दिँदा भारतको भूमि दुईतिर पर्न जान्छ भन्ने प्रतिक्रिया आउन सक्छ । तर मन मिले असम्भव केही हुँदैन । पहिले पाकिस्तानको बाँकी भूमि भारतपार पूर्वी पाकिस्तान (हाल बंगलादेश) मा थियो । पोर्चुगलको भूमि गोवा बेलायतको अधीनमा भारतीय उपमहाद्वीप थियो । अमेरिकाको क्यानडापार अलास्का छ । आपसी सौहार्द र सामञ्जस्यमा भर पर्ने विषय हुन् यी ।

इन्टरनेसनल बाउन्डरी एडजस्टमेन्ट प्रिन्सिपलअन्तर्गत जमिन सट्टापट्टा गर्ने अभ्यास छ । दुई छिमेकी मुलुकबीच जमिन सट्टापट्टा गर्न हुन्छ/हुँदैन भन्ने परिपाटीमा सहमति/असहमति जनाउने कुरा आफ्नै ठाउँमा छ । देश, काल, परिस्थिति, सार्वभौमिकता, अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय परिप्रेक्ष्यको विश्लेषण गरी देशको हित केमा हुन्छ भनी ठेगानमा चाहिँ पुग्नुपर्छ ।

यतिका वर्षसम्म नेपाललाई भारतले न बंगलादेशी बन्दरगाह पुग्ने सहमति दिएको छ, न त लिम्पियाधुरा सीमाबारे कुराकानी गर्ने मनसाय देखाएको छ । उल्टै, सन् २०१९ मा पिथौरागढ–कालापानी–लिपुलेक मार्ग बनायो । यस्तो अवस्थामा अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय सीमा सिद्धान्तका केही प्रावधान अपनाएर समस्या समाधानको बाटोतिर लाग्ने कि मामिला कचल्ट्याइराख्ने ?

पुछारको कुरो

दुवै देशका सम्बन्धित विज्ञहरूले समसामयिक अध्ययन तथा मन्थन गरी कसैको हित र सार्वभौमिकतामा खलल नपुग्ने गरी सहमति र समझदारीमा गर्नुपर्ने कार्य हुन् यी । लिम्पियाधुरा–कालापानी–लिपुलेक सीमा मामिलाबारे भारत पनि सजग छ । के कसो गरेमा नेपाल पनि खुसी तथा आफूलाई पनि सुविधा हुन्छ र कालापानीबारे अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय साख जोगिन्छ, अनि चीनले नकारात्मक सोच्दैन भन्ने कुरो भारतको भित्री मनसाय रहेको देखिन्छ । नेपालले चुच्चो नक्सा प्रकाशित गरेपछि भारतले यसलाई ‘नोट’ गरेको कुरा प्रकाशमा आएको छ । भारतलाई यो मामिला निल्नु न ओकल्नु भएको छ ।

अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय परिवेशले गर्दा निल्न सकेको छैन र ओकल्न पनि इज्जतका हिसाबले सकिरहेको छैन । भारतले यस मामिलामा ‘सेफ ल्यान्डिङ’ खोजेको महसुस हुन्छ । दुवै देश ‘विन–विन सिचुएसन’ मा पुग्ने उपाय यही हुन सक्छ । भारतले बंगलादेशसँग जमिन लेनदेन गरिएजस्तै नेपालको अतिक्रमित भूमि लिम्पियाधुरा–कालापानी–लिपुलेक क्षेत्र आफ्नो भूमिसँग साटासाट गर्ने प्रस्ताव राख्यो भने नेपालले के भन्ने, के गर्ने ? यसबारे नेपालको सीमा रणनीति के कस्तो हुनुपर्ने हो ? यस सम्बन्धमा ट्र्याक–टु डिप्लोमेट, राजनीतिज्ञ र कूटनीतिज्ञहरूले विस्तृत गृहकार्य, गहन चिन्तन–मनन, प्राविधिक अध्ययन–विश्लेषण गरी राष्ट्रिय प्रतिवेदन तयार पार्नुपर्छ । यही २४ गते सत्ता गठबन्धनले सार्वजनिक गरेको साझा न्यूनतम कार्यक्रममा सरकारले लिम्पियाधुरा, कालापानी र लिपुलेकलगायत सीमा समस्यामा कूटनीतिक माध्यमबाट समाधान खोजिने उल्लेख गरेको छ । अन्ततः सरकार प्रमुखहरूबीच मित्रतापूर्ण संवाद गरी सीमा विवादमा आपसी सहमतिद्वारा टुंगोमा पुग्नुपर्छ ।

Prologue : BOOK : Border Man of Nepal

Prologue: BOOK : Border Man of Nepal

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

Prologue

A Gate Man keeps the gate secure not to let unwanted person inside home. A Goal Keeper obstructs the football in front of the goal post. An Account Keeper maintains daily/monthly book-keeping on financial transactions. A Life Guard in the coastal area keeps his eyes to save the drowning swimmer in the beach area. A Bar Man serves alcoholic or soft drink beverages in the restaurant to the thirsty customers. A Batsman is a wicket keeper in cricket game. In the same way, a Spider Man acts to protect steel structure of a building. A Lines Man indicates when the ball goes over the lines in football/soccer game. Similarly, the Border Man is a field surveyor, as he measures distances between Jumbo border pillars, marks measuring points, verifies map with the ground and performs related duties to protect national boundaries of his motherland. And, the Border Man acts as a ‘Boundary Keeper’ of the nation, as he keeps his eyes on the border line, border pillars and markers. This scribe is performing various activities and duties as a Border Guard or Border Keeper, Border Indicator, Border Protector, Border Informant, Territory Visualizer counting the Junge (Jumbo) border pillars for more than three decades for the protection and preservation of national boundaries of Nepal. That’s why I chose to be called as ‘The Border Man of Nepal.’

If there occurs some issues on some segments of the boundary of Nepal, many people ask me: Which one is the exact demarcation of that sector ? I would like to mention the latest example. An issue was raised on the Nepal-China border at Humla district of Nepal. The issue published by the media was that China has encroached the Nepali frontier in Namkha Rural Municipality at Humla by constructing nine buildings. Some television channels, radio FMs, online media and paper media, including BBC London Nepali Service interviewed to this Border Man of Nepal for nearly a week from 23 September 2020. In the mean time, former Minister and Member of Parliament from Humla, Jeevan Bahadur Shahi made a phone call to me on 30 September asking whether China has encroached Nepali territory ! Responding to all, ‘I narrated that Nepal-China boundary treaty was signed in 1961. And, the boundary line has been demarcated in 1961-62. As a result, Boundary Protocol has been signed in 1963. It is renewed in 1979 and 1988. To renew the last protocol, Nepal-China Joint Boundary Committee is working for the last twelve years.’ I sent him by e-mail four maps, number-1A, 4, 5 and 6 that I had brought from the Library of Congress, Washington DC. 

At the same time, I mentioned: Nepal-China boundary treaty-1961 regarding Humla area says:the boundary line departs from the Karnali River and runs northeastwards along the mountain spur up to Takule, then along the mountain ridge, passing through Kumalatse, Kangpaochekuo and Mainipaimikuo to Kangarje; then northwards passing through Kandumbu (6550 meters) to Nalakankar. From Nalakankar, the boundary line runs generally northeastwards along the watershed between the tributaries flowing into the Manasarowar Lake and the tributaries of the Humla Karnali River passing through Nalakankar Pass to Lapche Pass; thence it runs generally southeastwards along the watershed.

Concerning the same segment, Boundary Protocol-1979 says: Boundary marker number-11 is located at Takule (5202 metres). From marker-11, the boundary line runs along the watershed between  the tributaries of Karnali River and those of the Gyau Stream and . . . . to top of the Kangarje Mountain (5914 metres) . . . . passing through height 5165 metres to the Lolung Pass; then it runs generally northwards and turns east by south, passing through (5142 metres) and the top of the Pannamu Mountain (5239  metres) to Boundary Marker Number 12, located at the Lapche Pass. The length of this section of the boundary is 77.25 kilometres. 

The boundary map series on the scale 1:50000 prepared in 1979 shows the boundary line along watershed ridge, river crossings and mountain tops indicating various altitudes.

On the background of these materials, I said to all that the area north of the watershed ridge belongs to China and the south to Nepal. If the Chinese construction lies south of the watershed ridge, it should be within Nepal. But, if it is located north of the watershed ridge, that falls under Chinese territory. The main thing to resolve the present issue is to verify the map to ground, whether the construction is located north or south of the watershed ridge.

The crux of the matter is: It was not shown the actual boundary line on the spot, during demarcation, to local bodies (municipalities) and frontier inhabitants of both the sides; whether it is Nepal-China or Nepal-India border. Due to not exactly knowing the actual line of demarcation, there would have been some unnecessary issues between the inhabitants of the border.

Whatever it may be, I am acting as a defending soldier of Junga Bahadur, the then Prime Minister of Nepal (more than one and half centuries ago), who initiated to construct Jumbo boundary pillars to protect national boundary of Nepal.

Book : Border Man of Nepal

Book : Border Man of Nepal

Authored by: Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

Table of Contents

  1. What is Border ? 1
  2. The birth of Nepal 5
  3. International Boundaries of Nepal 10
  4. Boundary of Greater Nepal 29
  5. Limpiyadhura-Kalapani-Lipulek) Border Issue with India 34
  6. Conflict on Border Marker-57 with China 46
  7. Authenticity of Lipulek Border Pass 51
  8. Battle of Maps between Nepal and India 66
    Chapter-2 : Views on the Border Man of Nepal 81-130
  9. Glimpses on the Border Man of Nepal 81
  10. Civic Views on the Border Man of Nepal 86
  11. Newspapers Notes to the Border Man 111
    Chapter-3 : Border Man at the Border 131-230
  12. Border Man at the Border of Nepal 131
  13. Border man at foreign countries border 223
    Chapter-4 : Border Man’s Activities 231-261
  14. The Border man’s Publications 231
  15. Articles Published 234
  16. Paper Presentations 236
  17. Interviews 238
  18. Newspaper Interviews 442
  19. News Published in the Newspapers 243
  20. Conferences and seminars 244
  21. Membership of Professional and Social Organizations 248
  22. Award prize and Prizes 249
  23. Medal/Decorations 251
  24. Consultancy Services of Professional Works 252
  25. Government Services 255
  26. Travel and Visit Abroad & Home Country 257
  27. Presentations to Authorities and Dignitaries 259
  28. Cited and Quoted by some Authors 261Chapter-5 : Some Articles 262-300
  29. The Nepal-India Border and Borderland Communities
    Under COVID-19 262
  30. Who is right / wrong on Nepal-India Battle of Maps? 268
  31. Nepal-India-China Tri-junction 272
  32. America and North Korea : Two-minute Border Diplomacy 274
  33. Trump Ignored Nepal border on the World Map 279
  34. Canada-America vis-a-vis Nepal-India Border Management 284
  35. BRI of China and Corridor of Nepal 291
  36. Message of India-Bangladesh Border Agreement 294
  37. Unquiet Border between Pakistan and India 296
    – Selected Bibliography 301
    – Border Cartoons 303
    – Photo Gallery 309
    – Short Introduction of the author 312
  38. General Index 314

In memory and honour of Late Dr. J R Victor Prescott (1931 – 2018),
academic, author and professor emeritus at the University of
Melbourne, Australia, who has authored 28 books and 15 other books
in co-authorship on international boundary issues, and political
geography. His last book was ‘International Frontiers and Boundaries:
Law, Politics and Geography (2008)’. In this book, Prescott did quote
some pages of my book entitled ‘Border Management of Nepal.’
Similarly, I have cited some of the paragraphs of his last book in my
recent book ‘International Boundaries of Nepal.’

Foreword

Dr. Jussi Laine
Associate Professor

Borders remain vitally important features of our political world. They
continue to divide the surface of the earth into blocks that are easier to
manage, marking areas of governance and sovereignty. However, while
political borders have proven their endurance and appeal, their
contemporary role has become increasingly complicated and contested.
Critical analysis of borders and bordering processes call for a deeper and
more amicable understanding of the conditioning dynamics and an approach
that gives voice and space to local actors and agendas. That is, while borders
have acquired and retained a central position in the social and political
transformation of the world, they also come with an impact on the everyday
life of many. Borders, even those of political nature, are not only political,
but also involve subtler socio-cultural processes and practices as a result of
everyday forms of transnationalism, border-crossing, border-negotiating,
and networking.


The well-established and widely shared notion that borders are inherently
complex constructions is a valuable one, yet undeniably insufficient in
advancing border studies toward greater relevance and practical reach.
Borders undoubtedly come in many shapes and forms. Categorically, there
is an emerging need to expand our analytical gaze and perspectives beyond
mere state borders. By no means, however, should this be taken to suggest
that the state borders have lost their significance. There is ample evidence

that border reinforcement policies seldom provide the political solutions.
They are often posited to bring about, yet other politics of the line endures.
There are borders that remain insurmountable for many, and there are also
people who prefer to be affiliated with and belong to a particular nation
state.


Growing global inequalities, re-nationalisation, state-led development
patterns and energy infrastructure, the rise of new economies as global
players, the creation of new states, securitisation, increasingly restrictive
visa regimes and border controls, pragmatic and protectionist behaviour
and policies, assertive power politics, territorial disputes and their associated
crises, the surge of refugees and displaced people, and the rise of national
populism are but a few examples which demonstrate that we continue to
live in the world of border issues. Territorial logic still leaves its mark on
the way border space is organised, and the nation/state continues to be the
principal identity for many of the world’s inhabitants.


The new politics of the borders reveal a sovereignty that is not waning, but
changing. It is this unfolding change that we as border scholars should seek
to better understand. There have been a notable re-animation of discourses
surrounding national borders, self-governance, national identity, and security.
These discourses are a response to growing uncertainties related to
geopolitical instability, social transformations, neo-liberal economic reforms,
digitization, and increased migratory pressures. As many border scholars
and policymakers alike have recognized, many things that are important to
the changing conditions of both national and international political
economies take place alongside borders.


I undertook the joyful task of writing the ‘Foreword’ of this book. I
somehow knew, it was a profoundly significant project- one that would
greatly raise and enhance the awareness level of not only the Government
of Nepal, but also that of concerned people at home and abroad as far as
the border issues are concerned. It’s indeed my honor and privilege to
write a ‘Foreword’ of this book.


The Border Man of Nepal underlines the persisting prevalence of state borders.
By discussing the ground reality of the boundaries of Nepal, with numerous

pragmatic examples, he provides a captivating account on how studying
the tenacious and at times paradoxical endurance of state borders help us
to better understand the new forms of territoriality emerging from
globalisation and the multiplicity of actors and players involved in the
management and maintenance of borders. The current book, expands and
supplements the ideas presented in the author’s impressive record of
previous books, combined with his both pragmatic and academic expertise.
In addition to illustrating the current situation and historical accounts on
the boundaries of Nepal, the book can be read as a sort of an autobiography
of its author, the self-acclaimed ‘unofficial guardian of the border’, Buddhi
Narayan Shrestha. Reflecting upon his own boundary philosophy and
numerous travels across various borders of the world, he has certainly
presented an enriching insights on border issues and management.


What makes this book special is his unwavering tone, style and conviction
in presenting the point at hand. It speaks with a full-blown maturity and
confidence drawn from actual facts and figures, not fiction and fabricated
data. This book certainly answers many unresolved Nepal’s border issues
with its neighboring countries namely India and China.


His tireless volumes of authentic work is the great opportunity not only
for the Government of Nepal, but also for academic researchers, students,
academics and other people in general who are interested in broader border
studies and debate. I trust that a reader will both enjoy and be educated by
its extensive content.


Dr. Jussi P. Laine
President, Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS)
Associate Professor, University of Eastern Finland


Acknowledgements

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

‘The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?

  • Casals Pablo

This work is produced out of my unwavering love and devotion for my
country- Nepal! This book is mainly about on the ground reality of some
segments of the boundaries of Nepal. I, the unofficial guardian of the
border, have delineated my experiences during my multiple visits around
the border areas. I have also narrated some experiences that I have gained
on the boundary study of some other countries. At the same time, this is a
sort of my autobiography and boundary philosophy as well to some extent.
I have also included some historical boundaries of Nepal in some chapters.


So far, I have written twelve books. Additionally, I have co-authored more
than a dozen other books in English and Nepali, published in Nepal and
abroad. My book titled ‘Border Management of Nepal’ has been widely
circulated in various parts of the world. ‘International Boundary Making’,
the book which I co-authored, was published from Copenhagen, Denmark.
Year before last, ‘International Boundaries of Nepal’ was published from
Latvia, Europe in 2019 A.D.. The book you are holding is published from
Boston, North America.


In fact, this work is a synergistic product of many minds. I am greatly
indebted to all the readers of my books. One of my books got into fifth

and the other books to third and second edition. I hope the readers
will enjoy reading this book to know about the practical experiences I gained
while I was observing the boundary lines, counting the Junge (Jumbo)
boundary pillars and protecting No-Man’s Land of the border areas.


In this book, I have presented the border issues of Nepal especially with
China and India, and also some other countries like India’s boundary issues
with Pakistan, China, Bangladesh. I have included Indo-Pacific Strategy of
the United States and Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) of China from the
perspective of Nepal. In light of this, I hope this book will be useful,
informative and interesting not only for College and University students
but also for educators, academics and enthusiasts and researchers on
boundary issues and management.


I am heartily grateful to Dr. Jussi Petteri Lane for being so graciously willing
to write the foreword of this book. Dr. Laine is an Associate Professor,
Docent of Multi-disciplinary Border Studies at Karelian Institute of the
University of Eastern Finland, holding the title of Docent of Human
Geography at the University of Oulu, Finland. He is the President of the
Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS) and currently serves on the
Steering Committee of the International Geographical Union’s Commission
on Political Geography. By profession and passion, Dr. Laine is a human
geographer, yet in his approach to borders, he combines influences from
international relations and geopolitics, political sociology, history,
anthropology, and psychology. Within the border studies, he seeks to explore
the multiscalar production of borders and bring critical perspectives to
bear on the relationship between state, territory, citizenship, and identity
construction. Most recently, Dr. Laine has published works on border
mobility, migration, the ethics of borders and ontological (in)security.


I have met him a couple of times during international boundaries events.
Last time, we were together at the international boundaries conference on
Border Regions in Transition (BRIT-XVI), organized by the University of
Ibadan, Nigeria and Universite d’ Abomey-Calavi, Cotonu, Benin in October 2018.

I thank him for accepting my request to write the foreword.

I would also like to thank Sushim Poudyal, a free-lance Consultant and
Corporate Trainer, Kathmandu, for his invaluable assistance in editing language, grammar and syntax of this book. Furthermore, I do acknowledge and have a deep sense of gratitude for Dr. Mabi L. Singh, Associate
Professor of Tufts University, Boston, USA for publishing this book.


Last but not the least, I am very much obliged and grateful for the
development and production of this book to all my well-wishers who
inspired, encouraged and energized me for embarking on this book. This
book would not have been possible if my wife Lily had not extended me
the much-needed support, cooperation, and allowed me to sacrifice precious
family time in order to read, write and really focus and complete this book.
I would also like to thank computer professional Gyanu Maharjan, who
did skilful formatting and layout of this book ready for printing.


Lastly, sentimentality aside, I express special gratitude to all the writers,
teachers, experts, philosophers, supporters and geniuses who have somehow
inspired and influenced my thinking, many of whom are quoted in this
book.


Buddhi Narayan Shrestha
Ghattekulo Marga
P.O. Box-6769
Kathmandu, Nepal
Telephone: 01-4417450
E-mail: bordernepal@gmail.com

Nepal-India Border and Borderland Communities Under COVID-19

The Nepal–India Border and

Borderland Communities

Under COVID-19

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

There is an open border regime between Nepal and India since centuries.

But all the border-crossings have been closed dramatically during the

COVID-19 pandemic period. The number of Border Observation Posts

increased from 120 to 500 to obstruct movement. So the daily

activities of borderland communities were affected.

Introduction

The Nepal–India Boundary is 1,880 kilometres long, with an open border regime. It has twenty major border crossing-points. Before the pandemic, Nepalese and Indian inhabitants could cross the porous border from anywhere many times a day without any obstruction or interrogation.

There are more than six million Nepali people working in India in various capacities such as security guards, domestic workers, hotel restaurant waiters, industrial guard, porters, agriculture helpers, etc (Nagarik Daily, 4 August 2014). In the same way, about four million Indians work in various parts of Nepal as school teachers, carpenters, masonry workers, plumbers, electricians, furniture makers, etc (Madhukar Shumsher JBR, FPRC Journal, 2014(3) http://www.fprc.in). They could come and go from their homes for their livelihoods without any problem. If border police suspected anyone, proof of identity was enough to pass.

It was generally not necessary for Nepali and Indian citizens to show identity proof nor to keep records of the movement of people while crossing the international border before the COVID-19 pandemic. But the border has been closed from both sides since 24 March 2020 when the pandemic started to spread. The border is still formally restricted, even though the lockdown officially ended on 21 July 2020. Nevertheless, the local frontier inhabitants can cross the border on foot. Border police do not stop them. Cargo trucks with foodstuff, fruits, vegetables, and merchandise are permitted to enter from either side. However, passenger vehicles have still been restricted. The number of armed police personnel patrolling has increased to obstruct the movement of “non-essential” borderland inhabitants.

Study Area

My case study area is around the Belhi–Sunauli (Nepal– India) crossing-point. I have been to and from Indian towns many times through this point before COVID-19. This is one of the major crossing gates through which 1.28 million travelers crossed from India to Nepal and 1.36 million people entered into India from Nepal during the year 2018-19, the year before COVID-19 (Immigration Officer Giriraj Khanal and Area Police Inspector Bir Bahadur Thapa, Belhi).

Just three days before the lockdown, 16 to 18 thousand Nepalese, who worked in India, commuted across the border daily through this crossing-point (Kantipur Daily, 22 March 2020). When the lockdown started on 24 March, nearly 335 Nepalese were stranded in the Indian frontier, as the border was closed.

There are police posts, immigration and customs posts, and armed police personnel patrolling along this Belhi-Sunauli border crossing-point. Before the pandemic, Indian frontier inhabitants used to come to Nepali weekly Bhairahawa open market to sell their farm products such as vegetables, fruits, milk, ghee, and other consumable goods at a higher price. Nepalese borderland community people would go to the Indian Sunauli market to buy sugar, salt, spices, daily necessities, and cotton clothes at a cheaper rate in comparison to Nepali market. But these usual activities have been obstructed due to spread of the coronavirus.

Border Filtering Process

Immigration office, customs post, and police check posts personnel have been stationed in all 20 main border crossing-points along the Nepal–India border. Before COVID-19, Nepalese and Indian nationals could cross the international border without interrogation. They wouldn’t have to enter immigration check-points. But third-country nationals had to face the immigration office.

Major Customs Offices were established to check the third-country travelers and to provide visa facilities. Armed police patrolled along the border to deter illegal activities. However, unwanted elements misused the open border. Criminals commit crime in one frontier and could easily hide on the other side. Terrorists use to cross the border in a disguised manner as Nepali/Indian inhabitants, as those who had their attire, posture, food habit, language, as similar to either Indian or Nepali. There were cases of smuggling of goods and electronic materials, trafficking of girls and women, narcotic trafficking, export of fake Indian currency notes brought from third countries to Nepal and then India. These unwanted elements would try to infiltrate the porous border rather than through the main crossing-points. All these happenings were due to less vigilance and low numbers of armed police personnel along the border.

Border Management System Changed Because of COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic period, the situation of border management system has been changed dramatically. The open and porous border was changed into a completely closed border system on both sides.

Formerly, Nepal had deployed 5,000 Armed Police Force (APF) along the border, establishing 120 Border Observation Posts (BoPs), six-to-ten kilometers apart in the plain areas and eight-to-fifteen kilometres apart in the hilly region. It had deputed 30 to 35 APF personnel in each BoP on average. Whereas India had deployed 45,000 special security bureau (SSB) with 530 BoPs, two to four kilometres apart having 85 personnel in each BoP. Immigration and customs officers, intelligentsia, and security personnel had been deputed in the border crossing check-points.

When the lockdown was announced on 24 March 2020 by both countries, movement was restricted on both sides. Border-point officials, in a sense, have much less work as the movement of travelers and frontier inhabitants has been restricted. On the other hand, there have not been sufficient numbers of health officers and social workers.

In course of time, there were nearly 500 Nepalese stranded at the Indian frontier, as the border was restricted during first wave of Covid-19. They were harassed, because they were under lockdown into the closed door. There was not sufficient food and drink inside. When they tried to go out of the door, policemen would strike their heads with wooden batons. However, those who were eligible were permitted to enter the Nepali frontier after general health checks by means of thermal guns, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), and polymerase chain reaction (PCRs).

Nepal border security forces expanded to 22,000 personnel from 8,000 during the pandemic. It added 320 temporary BoPs to make 500 to obstruct the movement of people from India. A ban on walking across the border was enforced except in emergency situations. However, special passes were provided from the local body and district administration to borderland communities to attend funerals and ritual events.

Management After the Formal End of Lockdown

The lockdown was ended on 21 July 2020 in Nepal, with some restrictions in areas heavily hit by the novel coronavirus and continued suspension of public transport vehicles. However, the Nepal–India border crossing-gates were still closed officially and restricted for the movement of people by land as well as air. The Nepalese government had decided to continue the ban on people’s movement across the border with India and China until 15 December 2020 (Himalayan Times Daily, 20 November 2020). After that, number of BoPs has gone down to 175 with around 6,000 armed police personnel. Nepal government established additional BoPs after the lock down and now it became 183 posts having 6,300 at the end of March 2021. The government has a plan to expand it to 500 BoPs (485 along Indian frontier and 15 towards Chinese frontier) having 15,000 armed police personnel by 2024 AD.

Nevertheless, the Nepalese had gone to Indian cities for their jobs when the pandemic gone down, as they were out of work in their hometowns and other cities of Nepal. According to border area security personnel, more than 140 Nepalese crossed the Gaddha Chowki border-point in a single day on 17 November 2020 to go to their work place in India (Kantipur Daily, 18 November 2020). It is an example of one crossing point.  

When there was the second wave of corona pandemic in Nepal and India, border crossing points have been closed since 29 April 2021. Before the closure of crossing check-posts, Nepalis working in various cities of India started to return back home. On average one thousand Nepali came back daily through the Gaddha Chowki crossing point. While checking the corona virus to the returning passenger, 47 persons have been identified as virus affected. (Kantipur Daily, 25 March 2021). This is the representative figure of a single Nepal-India crossing point.  

The borderland communities are not happy, as the border has been closed for the last eight months during the first wave of pandemic. Border closures also affected weddings of borderland inhabitants. For example, twenty-year-old Nepalganj Municipality inhabitant Ali Shaiyad’s marriage has been stalled for months. Originally scheduled to tie the knot with a boy across the border in April, the wedding keeps being postponed due to the border closure and pandemic (Himalayan Times Daily, 24 November 2020).

COVID-19 in Nepal

The first COVID-19 affected person in Nepal was detected on 23 January 2020. The first case of death was on 16 May. By 21 July, when the lockdown relaxed, fatalities reached 80 and the infected number increased to 23,948, whereas 16,664 people (75 percent) recovered. From 22 July to 14 August in a three-week period, the death rate increased by nearly 20 percent. Now, the total test (PCR) is 1.67 million, and the identified confirmed cases are 222,288 persons and among them 202,067 have been recovered. The total death through 23 November was 1,942  patients. Staffing in hospitals and temporary health centers have been increased tremendously and they are busy many hours a day. In the same way, border security forces and BoPs increased along the border. But the immigration personnel at border check-points have sat idle, with the border formally closed.

In the second wave of Covid-19, the pandemic started to spread extensively. So, the ‘Prohibitory Order’ was implemented from 29 April 2021 initially for two weeks. Then, it is extended to14 June. Till the writing of this line, the total test (PCR) is 3,108,938  and identified confirmed cases are 576,936 persons and among them 467,467 have been recovered. The total death through 3 June 2021 is 7,630 patients. (Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal). It shows that during the first lock down period of four months, the death case was 1,942. But after executing the second prohibitory order from 20 April 2021, the death case reached to nearly 2.5 fold more on 3 June.

Feeling of Borderland Communities During COVID-19

Indian frontier community people have been aggressive during COVID-19, due to barring them from crossing the border for their daily livelihood, such as taking domestic animals to the other frontier for grazing and grass cutting. A group of 40 Indian community inhabitants tried to infiltrate the Nepali frontier from the Malangawa Municipality Bhediyari crossing-point. Armed police BoP personnel stopped them towards Indian frontier. But they were furious and hurled stones and logs at Nepali armed policemen. An Indian national attacked the Nepal Armed Police Force constable who was patrolling the border on 22April. The policeman was wounded on his head. In the meantime they were driven away with the help of Indian SSB personnel.

On 23 April, eight Nepali nationals returning from India forcefully tried to enter into Belhi, Nepal. Nepal Police took them into custody and they were sent back from where they had entered and ultimately handed over to Indian Police. They were taken to Subash Chandra Junior High School quarantine center at Sunauli No-man’s land. They were examined by RDTs, PCRs, and thermal guns. On the other side, a 43-year-old Indian national and another 35 years of age fled from the Nepal Siddharthanagar Municipality-3 quarantine on 23 April.

Conclusion

The Nepal–India border cannot be closed for ever, but neither it should be entirely open. Borderland community inhabitants of both countries have close relationships with each other since historic times in terms of kith and kin, pilgrimage, and social factors. In fact, the border must be regulated during and after COVID-19. There should be designated exit and entry points along the border. ID cards should be introduced while crossing the border. It should establish coronavirus check-up desks with sufficient health workers with necessary equipment and materials near to the border crossing gates. All travelers must be thoroughly examined to determine whether they carry the coronavirus. If virus-infected Nepali passengers have been identified, they should be obstructed and sent to local quarantine camp. If some of them are Indian nationals, they should be handed over to Indian health desk. After rigorous health checking, they should be permitted to enter into the immigration desk.

oooo

Nepal-India-China Tri-junction

Nepal-India-China tri-junction

The most important elements to settle the border issues are dialogue, discussion, friendliness, neighbourliness and mutual understanding.

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha


Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

A tri-junction or a tri-border area is a geographical point at which the borders of three countries or sub-national entities meet. China has 16 tri-points with its neighbouring countries, India seven and Nepal two.

Shyam Saran, former Indian ambassador to Nepal and foreign secretary of India, has written in an article entitled ‘As Nepal paints itself into a corner on Kalapani issue, India must tread carefully‘ in The Indian Express dated June 12, ‘Buddhi Narayan Shrestha, who has been responsible for putting out justification for the new claims against India, is unable to deny it either. But he now says that the trijunction at this end has not been determined and that notionally it would be pillar number zero on the boundary! This is the first time one has heard of the concept of a “number zero border pillar”! This is ex post facto justification and the dishonesty behind it is glaring’.

International practice

It is pertinent to mention that there are currently 157 international tri-points all over the world. There is a practice to mark the tri-junction point as ‘zero’ number. For example, Venezuela-Brazil-Guyana have a seven-foot-tall marker on the tri-point where the borders of the three countries meet. It bears a bronze plaque and the geographical marker BV-0, referring to the zero point between the national boundaries. One side of the marker is clearly marked with the word ‘Brasil’ and the nation’s national shield, and the other side says ‘Venezuela’. The Venezuelan side also bears a bronze plaque and the geographical marker BV-0 referring to the zero point. The Guyanese side bears some barely legible and crudely done lettering.

China-Russia-Mongolia have set the position of their junction point by a trilateral agreement signed in Ulaanbaatar in 1994. The agreement specifies that a marker is to be erected at the eastern tri-point called Tarbagan-Dakh. At some tri-points, the latitude, longitude and altitude are stated, like at the tri-point of the borders of Norway, Sweden and Finland. This is the technical fact based on the boundary principle adopted across the world. Some diplomats and politicians might not have heard about the technically related tri-junction. Erecting a tri-point pillar is a global practice, and it must have the serial number zero. The three countries involved should participate and cooperate equally in all respects.

So far as the tri-junctions on the Nepal-India-China border are concerned, two tri-border points need to be established at Nepal’s north-eastern and north-western corners at Jhinsang Chuli (altitude 7,483 metres) and Limpiyadhura (altitude 5,532 metres) respectively.

Nepal and China signed a boundary agreement in 1960 and a treaty was signed in 1961. The borderline was demarcated in 1961-62. After the completion of the demarcation amicably, the first boundary protocol was signed by the plenipotentiaries of the two countries in 1963. It was renewed in 1979 and 1988. A Nepal-China joint boundary committee is working to renew the protocol for the third time. It is to be noted that the demarcation has not yet been completed for the tri-junctions at either end of Nepal to be erected. Border pillar number one has been erected at Tinkar Pass in Darchula and number 79 at Tiptala Pass in Taplejung.

Saran has written, ‘A Nepali diplomat has repeated this same specious argument, “Given the situation in 1961, Nepal and China fixed pillar No 1 at Tinkar Pass with the understanding that pillar number zero (trijunction of Nepal, India and China) would be fixed later”. [Shrestha] has not adduced any evidence that this indeed was the ‘understanding’ reached with China in 1961’.

In this aspect, Saran seems to be correct. Studying the Nepal-China boundary maps prepared during 1961-62, one can see that the boundary line has already been drawn to a hillock about 4 km northwest of Tinkar Pass. Now it has to be extended further north to Lipulekh Pass and then north-westward catching the watershed range ultimately to Limpiyadhura. It is to be noted that the map has been chalked up to nearly 3 km north of Lipulekh Pass. It may be due to the understanding with China, as Saran has stated.

Bilateral talks

Nepal and India have not only diplomatic, political and economic relations, but also social, cultural and people-to-people ties, as Nepal also has with the northern neighbour China. The most important element to settle the border issue is dialogue, discussion, friendliness, neighbourliness and mutual understanding. This has been stated by former Indian ambassadors to Nepal from Deva Mukherjee to recently retired Manjeev Singh Puri. In the same way, Nepali diplomats from Bhekh Bahadur Thapa to Deep Kumar Upadhyay have said that friendly negotiations could resolve the issue.

In this regard, the date and venue should be fixed for the bilateral talks between Nepal and India as soon as possible. It has to adopt the spirit of Article 5 of the 1816 Treaty of Sugauli to delineate and demarcate the origin of the Kalee/Mahakali river. Once this matter is resolved, the issue of the Kalapani area will be settled forever. China must be involved to erect the tri-junction point where the Nepal, India and China borders meet.

***

Heartfelt Condolence to Himali

Heartfelt Condolence to Late Chetendra Jang Himali

By: Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

दुःखी मनले यो कोर्दैछु :

रहेनन् चेतेन्द्रजङ्ग हिमाली ।

छैनन् अब चेतेन्द्रजङ्ग हिमाली ।

सीमा अभियन्ता तथा सीमाका पैरवी, सीमा सरोकार नागरिक समितिका अध्यक्ष ।

८६ वर्षको उमेरमा हिजो चैत १५ गते, शनिबार विहान ४.४४ बजे उनले छाडे यो धर्ती ।हार्दिक श्रद्धाञ्जली, आत्मा शान्ति होस्, स्वर्गारोहण होस् ।उनका जहान परिवार सन्ततिलाई समवेदना ।

उनी केही समयदेखि स्वास प्रस्वासका कारण केही अस्वस्थ थिए ।

= उनी देशको सीमा रक्षाका अभियन्तामात्र होइन, राष्ट्रको इतिहासका ज्ञाता पनि थिए ।

= कसका पालामा के कस्ता घटना दुर्घटना हुन पुग्यो देश विकासमा भनी सोधनी गर्दा आधुनिक गुगल महर्षीले जस्तै गरी कण्ठै भनिदिन्थे ।

= विशाल नेपालकालदेखि हालसम्मका थापा, पॉडे, कु‘वर, सिंह, राणा, शाह, मुख्तियार, शाषक, पदाधिकारी, समाज सेवक, विद्वतवर्गका तीनपुस्ते तथा जन्मकाल र उनीहरुले गरेका राम्रा नराम्रा क्रियाकलाप फररै भन्थे । किताब पल्टाइरहनु पर्थेन ।

= सम्झन्छु ः २०३० भदौ ३० गते सीमा सरोकार नागरिक समितिका उनी अध्यक्षको अगुवाइमा सदस्यहरु डा. सुरेन्द्र केसी, फणीन्द्र नेपाल, रतन भण्डारी, रामचन्द्र चटौत, मलगायत अन्य केहीको टोली सुस्ता अतिक्रमण क्षेत्रको अवलोकन अध्ययनमा गएका थियौं ।

= त्यहॉका गोपाल गुरुङलगायत स्थानीयले आयोजना गरेको कार्यक्रम र उपस्थित केही भारतीय सञ्चारकर्मीले हामीलाई पालैपालो अन्तर्वार्ता दिएका थियौं ।

= अर्को पठक सुस्ताबाट फर्केपछि डुङ्गा तरेर सगरदिन्हाको जङ्गेखम्बा नं. १ मा पुग्यौ ।

= खम्बा अगाडि मैले नक्सा र जमिन भिडाउ‘दै व्याख्या गर्न सुरु गरेको २ मिनेटमै भारतीय एसएसबीका दुई जवान आएर हामीलाई त्यहॉबाट भागिहाल्न भन्दै मेरो नक्सा खोस्न आइपुगे ।

= मसाथै हामीहरु झोला टिपेर छड्किहाल्यौं ।

= हिमाली त अटेरी भएर जङ्गे खम्बा नजिकै उभिइरहे । अनि केही मिनेटपछि हामीतिर आए ।

= किन त्यही‘ किन उभिइरहनु भएको भनेर सोद्धा, त्यसको बाबुले कहॉ लगेर कति दिन राख्दो रहेछ हेरौं न भनेर अडिएको । त्यसै कारण उभिइरहेको, केही गरेन । तपाइ‘हरु कुलेलम ठोकिहाल्नु भयो ।

= यस्ता देशको सीमाप्रति अडिग रहने वक्ति अब हामीमाझ रहेनन् । उनीलाई श्रद्धा सुमन अर्पण गर्दछु । अन्तरमनैदेखि हार्दिक श्रद्धाञ्जली ।

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A Kind of Social Honour

A Kind of Social Honour

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

Nepali Territory has been encroached.

Nepali Territory has been encroached

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

Interview by Mountain Television

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