KATHMANDU: The Nepal government has deployed a team of its Armed Police Force (APF) at the Nepal-India border point of Lipulekh just a week after the Indian defence ministry inaugurated a link Road through territory Nepal claims as its own.
APF headquarters’ inspector Lili Bahadur Chand has been leading a team of 25 personnel at Gaga, Chhangru of Byas Rural Municipality-1, Darchula district since last Wednesday. The APF border outpost was inaugurated by APF additional inspector general Narayan Babu Thapa the same day.
After the establishment of the border outpost, APF personnel have been patrolling the area regularly.
According to AIG Thapa, the troops were transported to Chhangru by a Nepal Army MI-17 helicopter. The APF said that the border outpost has been established to protect Nepal’s western Border after India constructed a “Mansarovar link road” from Pithoragadh to the China border, including a section that Nepal insists is its territory. This claim has been rejected by the Indian side.
Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali told a parliamentary committee that successive governments in Kathmandu had failed to secure Nepal’s western territory with India because they did maintain their presence there for a long time. The area of Chhangru lies at an altitude of 3000 to 5000 meters from sea level and is uninhabited.
Meanwhile anti-government protests in Nepal have continued. They are demanding that Prime Minister K.P. Oli talk to his Indian counterpart in order to safeguard ‘Nepal’s territory’, Lipulekh.
Nepal’s foreign ministry has released a press note stating that the eastern area (Lipulekh, Kalapani, Limpiyadhura) from the Mahakali river belong to Nepal’s territory. Apart from senior leaders in ruling Nepal Communist Party, many of members of parliament have been demanding that the Nepal government print the country’s political map to show Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani as part of the country’s territory.