In a major development that will have far-reaching repercussions on Indo-Nepal relations, all major political parties have officially concluded that India harassed the local villagers and encroached our land in Dang district. Two all-party delegations first from the Constituent Assembly and the other of the legislature parliament have conformed media reports that the notorious and hated SSB raped our women, harassed our locals and shifted border pillars in Dang district. This incident was denied by the Indian Ambassador saying that nothing of this sort had happened and the Nepali government too had not officially said anything on the matter. Now what more official comment is needed other than the statements made after site inspection by all-party delegations of the sovereign parliament of Nepal? Nepali people now want an answer from the Madhav Nepal government – on who is right? The Indian Embassy or the Constituent Assembly of Nepal? While last week’s delegation was headed by Nabindra Raj Joshi from the Nepali Congress, these two have been headed by leaders of left parties. In reality, the left parties and the centrist NC dominate the current Constituent Assembly.
The CA team was lead by Amik Sherchan, chairman of the Committee for Protection of National Interest while the parliamentary delegation was headed by Padma Lal Biswakarma, chairman of the International Relations and Human Rights Committee.
Organising a press conference in Dang on 13 June 2009, the all-party CA inspection team urged the government to start rehabilitation of those displaced due to unruly acts of the Indian border security officials, provide them relief support and seek lasting solution to the recurrent border disputes. The team even told journalists that Indian SSB personnel threatened, harassed and barred Nepalis from purchasing daily consumer goods from the bordering market. This is against the 1950 treaty which allows nationals of one country to move freely through the open border to another.
Not only the MPs but even a huge rally was organized on Friday in Susta, Nawalparasi by the CPN (Maoist) party which was participated by a large number of Madhesis. They shouted against the brazen Indian act of shifting border pillars. The footage in by prominent television stations showed thousands of dhoti clad Madhesis who were protesting against Indian hegemony. It was really an interesting development and perhaps happened for the first time in the history of Nepal that Madhesis were protesting against India.
More interesting is the repeated assertions by all-party delegations that Nepal’s border has been encroached in a number of places by India. One is reminded of an interview in early 2006 by former Indian Ambassador Shiv Shankar Mukherjee given to Vijaya Kumar in which he strongly said that “India’s sympathy and support is with the Nepali political parties”. He further added that the “political parties are the Indian card.” If only there is any system of re-evaluation and re-thinking in democratic India on neighbourhood policy that has gone drastically wrong , would it not be fair to ask for an interrogation by the Indian parliament over MEA, IB and RAW’s totally absurd handling of Nepal situation?
People’s Review Weekly, 18 June 2009