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Tag: nepal

10 things you need to know about the Odd-Even scheme that starts this New Year

-The new rule was announced after a court ordered authorities asked the government to take measures to drastically reduce air pollution which was found out to be over 10 times the WHO safe limits.

dna Web Team

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PM Modi invites Nepalese PM to India amid ongoing border crisis

Madhesis, who share a strong cultural and family bonds with Indians, have imposed a general strike in southern Nepal, thereby causing shortage of fuel and other essential goods in the country. Madhesi leaders have submitted an 11-point demand to the Nepal Government. Their demands include re-demarcation of the provinces, fixing of electoral constituencies on the basis of population and proportional representation.

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Uttar Pradesh: 16-year-old gangraped to take revenge of poll defeat; girl commits suicide

The body of the girl has been sent for post mortem examination and the report is awaited.

PTI
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Women outnumber men for PG, M Phil courses

The survey data, which was released recently, also says the highest number of students enrolled for undergraduate courses. Out of the total students, 79.9% students are enrolled at the undergraduate level, the survey report said, while only 11.45% of the students were enrolled at Post Graduate level.

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Russian pilgrim sentenced to jail in Kashmir

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Luck, however, had other things in store for the mother of two as she was arrested by the police for entering into the valley without valid travel documents. Four months later, Zoia, a practising Hindu, has been sentenced to one year in jail by a trial court.

Faith transcended all boundaries for 40-year-old Russian Bonetekia Zoia when she embarked on a spiritual journey from Saint Petersburg to the abode of Lord Shiva at the Holy Amarnath cave in August this year.Luck, however, had other things in store for the mother of two as she was arrested by the police for entering into the valley without valid travel documents. Four months later, Zoia, a practising Hindu, has been sentenced to one year in jail by a trial court.As Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on a two-day Russia visit from Wednesday, the clamour is growing for pardoning or commuting the sentence of Zoia so that she could be reunited with her family at Saint Petersburg.Noted Supreme Court lawyer and chief patron of National Panthers Party Bhim Singh has written a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking his intervention for her release from prison.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”That India is a sovereign country and the tourists from Nepal may enter India. It appears that the Russian lady had no valid visa to visit India if it is so, it has to be ascertained how she was allowed to enter India without valid documents from Nepal. The immigration at the border is responsible for this goof-up and not the visiting tourist,” Singh said in his letter.Zoia was arrested by the police near Sonamarg on August 24 and charged under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act since she was not carrying the travel documents. “She has entered India through Nepal to perform yatra.While performing yatra, she was trapped by the police in the catchment area of the holy cave,” Umar Rashid Wani, the counsel for Zoia, told dna.The Russian could not be bailed out because nobody in Kashmir came forward to give surety for her. “I did not have surety to present on her behalf. If nobody stands as surety, how can a person get bail? It was not possible for me to get a passport because she actually had lost it somewhere in Nepal. Therefore, I had to confess on her behalf. Accordingly, the court convicted and sentenced her to one year jail which otherwise could have been five years,” said Wani.Wani has now decided to approach the Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra seeking a pardon for the Russian visitor.”I will appeal the governor, who has the power, to pardon or commute her sentence. If she is pardoned it will be a good gesture. There are good relations between India and Russia since the dawn of civilisation. Plus, she had come with a purpose to seek peace across the globe. She was driven by faith and not having any ill intention,” he said.

India’s global profile has risen in past 18 months: Sushma Swaraj

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In an address at an industry chamber, Sushma Swaraj touched upon various dimensions of foreign policy being pursued and said it has been successful in advancing India’s economic growth, defence requirement, addressing security concerns besides projecting its rich heritage.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
India’s global profile has improved significantly and taking forward ties with Pakistan was the “most challenging” in the last 18 months, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Friday, while commending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and rising influence at the world stage.In an address at an industry chamber, Swaraj touched upon various dimensions of foreign policy being pursued and said it has been successful in advancing India’s economic growth, defence requirement, addressing security concerns besides projecting its rich heritage.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Complimenting Modi, she said though he had not played any role at the international stage before becoming prime minister, he made an image of himself in the last 18 months and now is being counted among the most influential leaders in the world.”He is someone who was chief minister for 15 years but never played any role at the global stage. Leave alone prime minister, he was never even a minister at the Centre. The man in the last 18 months have made an image of himself and is now being counted among the most influential leaders of the world. More importantly, he is not only rising. Along with him India is also emerging,” Swaraj said at FICCI.She said India’s relations with all major powers including the US, Russia, Japan, Britain and Germany, have seen an upswing across the board since NDA came to power.”The overall image of India that we have managed to project, even in a short while, is of a country that is serious about meeting its commitments and responsibilities. This has made us a more credible player at international events, as you would have noticed in Paris recently,” she said.On China, the External Affairs Minister said it has been engaged with a greater sense of confidence, whether it is on the boundary problem or on exploring economic opportunities.”Ties with Pakistan have predictably been the most challenging to take forward. However, the recent NSA-level dialogue on security and terrorism and the establishment of a Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue following my visit to Islamabad now offers a pathway,” she said.”Countering terrorism has become an increasingly salient feature of our national security calculations. It has also become prominent in the public discourse about foreign policy. Much of it centres on our relationship with Pakistan, but there are also aspects beyond,” she said.On Nepal, she said India’s traditionally close relations were taken to the next level.”By calling for an inclusive Nepal and urging a political solution to long pending political problems, we are committed to unity, peace and stability of Nepal which will create a more durable foundation for our bilateral relations to prosper,” she said.Swaraj cited declaration of International Yoga Day on June 21 by the UN, evacuation of Indians from Yemen, forceful representations of India’s security concerns and pushing its economic agenda as major achievements on the foreign policy front.About ties with the US, Swaraj said resolution of the long-pending nuclear liability “problem” and working together by the two countries on various global issues reflected the intensity.”It is India’s diplomacy that has today created a situation, where we have ready access to defence technologies from all the key global sources. Not many countries can claim that privilege. Accelerating long-pending procurement decisions at home complements the opportunities that we have created abroad. India’s relations with major powers have seen an upswing across the board since we assumed office,” she said.The External Affairs Minister said the current dispensation is an accountable government and people have right to ask what have you done. She said significant improvement on bilateral ties have been achieved with all the neighbours. “In respect of Myanmar, we are preparing for a political transition, confident that India’s interests are recognised by all parties.”Swaraj said, following the Indo-Africa summit, the ties with the African continent have seen new energy while the summit of Pacific Island States underlined India’s new approach to Pacific island nations.”There is no doubt that India’s international profile has been significantly enhanced in the last 18 months. Our views on key international issues be it on trade, climate change, terrorism or maritime security – are also being given greater consideration,” she said.She said declaration of the International Day of Yoga by UN, which was supported by 177 countries at the UN was symbolic of India’s growing stature.Talking about initial days of Modi government, she said, “Beset by terrorist attacks sponsored from abroad and insurgency at home, there was a growing feeling that a firmer hand was required to steer national security.”Noting that focussing on national heritage has been key aspect of the foreign policy, she said “The India of today aspires to project its own heritage on the global scene. In today’s parlance, we could say that it is to build our national branding.””Even in our short tenure, we have demonstrated our commitment to their well being by organising evacuations in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. In fact, there has been a sea change in how an Indian in distress perceives the Government,” she said.Swaraj said “two images of the MEA have emerged. One about being influential and the other is about being sensitive.” She said by connecting directly with the diaspora, the Prime Minister has increased their enthusiasm to contribute to the changes underway in India.

Blast at brick factory in Nepal kills 6 Indians, including four minors

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Great dream of developing Nepal hit by border blockade: Oli

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Probe, punishment to those guilty of killing Indian national in Nepal sought: Government

India-Protest

India has asked Nepal to initiate an investigation and punish those responsible for the killing of an Indian national in firing by security forces of that country on November 2.”Our Consulate at Birgunj has requested Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Nepal on November 2, 2015 to initiate investigation and punish the guilty at the earliest,” Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha. He said the Nepal government’s response is awaited.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The minister said Asish Ram alias Sonu Ram, son of Ashok Ram, a resident of Raxaul in East Champaran of Bihar was killed in firing by Nepalese security forces at Shankaracharya gate near Birgunj Bhansar (Nepal) on November 2 when he was returning from Birgunj after meetings friends and relatives. In reply to another question on membership in Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Singh said India has expressed its interest and has formally applied for membership of MTCR in June.”Its application has been received well. Chairman of the NSG was in New Delhi in October 2015 for discussions on NSG and nuclear commerce. India continues to be in touch with NSG Chairman and individual members of the NSG in this regard,” he said. Singh added that a number of NSG member countries like US, Russia, France, Japan, Australia, Germany, Republic of Korea and Spain have expressed their supprt for India’s membership in recognition of India’s record on non-prolification and the robustness of its export controls.”India will apply for membership of NSG when the ground is adequately prepared for our membership,” he said.

The controversy over a yoga guru’s noodle brand

A popular yoga guru-turned-noodlemaker has become the topic of a social media war over food safety allegations.

No big brotherly approach towards Nepal, says Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj rubbished the charge that India was imposing a blockade of supplies even as she asserted that Narendra Modi government would follow the policy of the previous government with regard to Nepal.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

PTI
Rejecting the allegation of adopting “big brotherly” approach towards Nepal, India today said it respects its sovereignty and wants to see the neighbouring country itself resolve the present crisis through consensus as violence could have impact even on India.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj rubbished the charge that India was imposing a blockade of supplies even as she asserted that Narendra Modi government would follow the policy of the previous government with regard to Nepal.Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on India-Nepal relations during which members expressed concern over the deterioration in ties, she said the government shares their sentiments as also the worries of Nepal which has been hit by a blockade of supplies from India due to an agitation by Madhesis over the newly-adopted Constitution.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Still a way can be found… We are doing the same… We want to see a resolution through consensus so that supplies could be restored at the earliest,” Swaraj said adding India has conveyed this the Nepal government as well as the agitating Madhesis. “We hope some solution will emerge in 5-7 days,” she said.To the allegations that India was adopting a “big brotherly” approach, the minister said, “instead, we are adopting an elderly brother’s approach, a caring and sharing approach.” Rejecting the charge of interference into the neighbour’s affairs, she said, “Nepal is a sovereign country and we respect its sovereigntyl. We are not prescriptive but only give advice.” “Like elder brother, our attitude is that of caring and sharing and not of showing arrogance, which a big brother does,” Swaraj said.Allaying apprehensions voiced by JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, the External Affairs Minister said there is no need to have any doubts over the government’s intentions.”The present government will also follow the same path on which previous governments have handled Nepal. There is no difference between the deeds and actions of the government. This government does what is speaks,” she said.She said India is worried also because if the agitation by Madhesis turns violent, it will affect this country.”We told them this that if there is any violent agitation, then India’s peaceful border with Nepal will be restless and this could affect India’s relations with Nepal…We told them, this border of ours at least is peaceful. We do not want this also to be volatile,” she said.During her speech, Swaraj attacked Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for making some adverse comments about India’s role and for suggesting that rather than the External Affairs Minister, somebody “authoritarian” was dictating the policy, an apparent attack on the Prime Minister.”Mani has the habit of creating rifts. He has tried to create a rift between me and my leaders.. He also tried to create rift with Nepal,” she said. She also took exception to Aiyar’s remarks that an Indian delegation should go to Nepal and convey that the “Modi government rather than India” was behind the situation.Countering the charge that India was blocking supplies to Nepal, Swaraj said routes have been closed because of the protest by Madhesis in which India no role.”Who can be so foolish to turn goodwill into hostility? How can we collect lakhs of people for protest?… We are keen to send the supplies,” she said, while telling the members not to accept versions to the contrary.”We are not inhuman… 11,206 trucks, loaded with supplies, are waiting at the Raxaul-Birganj border post. They are not able to move forward because of the protest and we are not allowing them to come back, thinking they could get some chance to proceed,” she said.At the same time, she said, India is looking at alternative routes to send supplies like medicines. 864 trucks have gone into Nepal from one such route yesterday, compared to 450 trucks which usually go. She said clearing of the routes is not in the hands of India.”We can push the supplies either by firing at the protestors or crushing them under the trucks. Both are not desirable,” Swaraj said, adding “we are trying to find a political consensus.”

C-17, Super Herc: Know more about these IAF planes that have been saving lives in Chennai

“The propeller-driven C-130J is capable of landing on short runaway, even on ‘kucha’ terrain and that’s why they prove so critical in such operations.”

The IAF’s first C-17, 2013

Image Credit: Wikicommons
Heavylifter C-17 Globemaster and the C-130J Super Hercules, which helped in saving thousands of lives during Uttarakhand and Kashmir floods and the deadly Nepal earthquake early this year, again did a yeoman service in rain-hit Chennai where they ferried nearly 1,500 people to safety following the deluge. The two super aircraft, India’s prized defence assets, also played a critical role in ferrying NDRF and Army teams along with heavy equipment from various parts of the country to Tambaram Air Base and Arakkonam Naval Base, the two nodal points that played a critical role in overall rescue operations in the wake of torrential rains here.”The propeller-driven C-130J is capable of landing on short runaway, even on ‘kucha’ terrain and that’s why they prove so critical in such operations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But, before Chennai floods, they served in rescue operations during the Uttarakhand floods in 2013, where they landed at Dharasu. This big bird has also landed in Daulat Beg Oldie (Advanced Landing Ground) in Ladakh,” a senior defence official told PTI. Built by American aircraft maker Lockheed Martin, six C-130Js were purchased by India in 2008, and these are based at the Hindon Air Base, outside of Delhi. The one that flew from Palam to Tambaram on December 2 was from this base only. It came back the next day carrying about 120 people onboard. Junior Warrant Officer Chandran Mohanan, a loadmaster, on that C-130J says, “It fills me with pride to be a crew member of this prestigious transport aircraft, and to be able to serve our country by rescuing people. “I have seen Bihar floods. And I have been part of the rescue operations during Uttarakhand and J-K floods, onboard this aircraft, and sometimes it used to get emotionally overwhelming to see people crying, but it felt always great to see families getting united.”Tambaram Base, located nearly 30 kms outside Chennai, has a shorter runway, and therefore the C17s heading for rescue operations were landing at Arakkonam Base, 70 kms west of the city.Sitting regal on the tarmac, the ‘big bird’ transported to safety over 480 people to Delhi, Hyderabad and Patna from December 3-5, a senior Naval official of Arakkonam or INS Rajali Base said.The C-17s can carry about 230-250 people onboard.While both the C-17s as well as the Super Hercules flew in and out of Nepal during the quake tragedy and the Kashmir floods, providing rescue and relief, during Uttartkhand cloudburst disaster only C-130Js were used.”The C17s can very well land at Jolly Grant (Dehradun Airport) but they were not needed. “In Kashmir, they landed at Srinagar Airport during the rescue operations,” a top IAF official said. 39-year-old Mohanan, a Kerala native, talking about C-130J says, “This aircraft is so versatile, it (American C-130J) is known to have landed in extreme weather, including in Antarctica.” “It has a fore-to-aft length of about 56 ft and a ramp measuring 10-15 ft. In one go, it can carry 128 people and has a capacity of 20 tonne. But, for VIP configuration, it can be changed accordingly,” he added. “Its crew includes two pilots, one CSO (combat system operator) and two loadmasters,” Mohanan said.Captain S L Singh, the pilot of the Super Herc, who flew on December 2 from Palam to Tambaram, says, “this aircraft is scientifically very advanced. It can gather live footage while flying and thus is strategically an important asset.” Captain Singh, of Squadron 77 Veiled Vipers based in Hindon, says, “The Super Hercules are India”s prized possession and greatly enhance our military transport capabilities.”The rescued people were all praise for the defence personnel and their flying giants. “Being rescued from our college first by the Army and the being flown to Hyderabad in a C-17 of the IAF, it only raised the respect we had for the defence forces, after seeing them up, close and personal,” said George, a student of SRM University here, who was rescued along with hundreds of other students from his campus. As Chennai limped back to normalcy, and trains and bus transportations resumed operation, the aerial sorties and airdropping of relief were called off from yesterday. Kopal Gupta, a Dehradun native, and student of VIT Vellore campus, was left stranded at the Chennai Airport for two days, before being rescued and flown to Delhi on December 4.

Sushma Swaraj meets Madhesi leaders, assures support for an ‘inclusive Nepal’

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Nepal’s Madhesi leaders meet Sushma Swaraj

“EAM @SushmaSwaraj called for broad based ownership of Constitution & encouraged speedy political solution and return to normalcy on that basis,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup later tweeted.

Leaders of Nepal s Indian-origin Madhesi community, whose protest against the country s new Constitution has crippled supplies from India, today met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who called for a “speedy” political solution to the crisis. The leaders who arrived here to hold talks with top Indian leadership including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, apprised Swaraj of their position on various contentious issues.Swaraj, on her part, said India supports an “inclusive Nepal”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”EAM @SushmaSwaraj called for broad based ownership of Constitution & encouraged speedy political solution and return to normalcy on that basis,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup later tweeted. The agitation by Madhesi leaders in Terai region bordering India has crippled services in Nepal as the protesters have blocked all border trade points between the two countries, triggering shortage of supplies including fuel and medicines. The Madhesi community is opposed to splitting the country into seven provinces under the new Constitution and has been demanding adequate protection of their rights.Three major demands of the Madhesi community include re-demarcation of the boundary, inclusion of proportionate representation and allocation of Parliament seats on the basis of population. The senior leaders of Joint Madhesi Morcha who have come here for talks include Mahantha Thakur, president of Terai Madhes Democratic Party, Upendra Yadav, president of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum-Nepal, Rajendra Mahato, president of Sadbhawana Party, and Mahendra Yadav, president of Terai Madhes Sadbhawana Party.On Saturday, these leaders had a crucial meeting with Nepal s major political parties including main opposition Nepali Congress and ruling alliance members CPN-UML and Unified CPN-Maoist to discuss ways to resolve the ongoing crisis.

India reiterates need for political solution to Nepal’s crisis

New Delhi: With the political impasse in Nepal showing no signs of easing, India on Wednesday asked its neighbour to normalise the situation as soon as possible while asserting that it has always stood for a peaceful and prosperous Nepal which also is in India’s interest.

During her meeting with visiting Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told him that India has gone out of the way to ensure medical supplies to the Himalayan nation while rejecting any hindrance to supplies from the country.

Sushma Swaraj. AFPSushma Swaraj. AFP

Sushma Swaraj. AFP

On his part, Thapa briefed Swaraj on the political dialogue with various stakeholders and informed her that the ministerial level dialogue has been upgraded to the top leadership level in his country.

Swaraj “reiterates need for urgent political solution to political problems facing Nepal”, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

She also told Thapa “that there is no hindrance to supplies from India. But Nepal needs to normalise situation as soon as possible”, the Spokesperson added.

The minister also underlined the fact that India has gone out of the way to ensure medical supplies to Nepal during the talks.

The visiting dignitary told Swaraj that there has been focused discussions on four key issues concerning a section of Nepalese population i.e – constituency delimitation, political representation, citizenship and demarcation of provinces.

Thapa, who is visiting India for the second time in less than two months, hoped for an early resolution of the issues, official sources said. During his first visit in October within days of assuming office, Thapa had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Swaraj after which Indian officials had agreed to re-route the vehicles carrying essential supplies to Nepal from those border points which are less disturbed.

Since the promulgation of the Constitution in Nepal in September, the Indian-origin Madhesi population has been agitating as they believe the country’s new Constitution discriminates against them, denying them equal standing with other Nepalis.

The agitation obstructed supply of essential commodities including petrol thereby creating a crisis in Nepal, which accused India of imposing a “economic blockade”. India has denied the charge and has been asking that country to take steps which should ensure broad-based ownership and acceptance of the Constitution by all section of the society including those disaffected agitating forces.

Meanwhile, in Parliament, Swaraj said India would continue to maintain close engagement and bilateral exchanges, as well as extend all assistance in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Nepal, for peace, stability and socio-economic development of the country.

PTI

Blockade ‘risk’ to Nepalese children

Shortages of fuel, food, medicines and vaccines put more than three million infants at risk as winter begins in Nepal, the UN warns.

While Narendra Modi does a Rajiv Gandhi in Nepal, China might have the last laugh

If they are laughing at you, then it’s all over. And Nepal is. Cracking jokes at India’s, particularly Narendra Modi’s expense that is. Stand-up comedian Manoj Gajurel used to have his audience doubling up with his “positive” impersonations of Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister who made Kathmandu his first port of call in his soon-to-be overbooked foreign itinerary and the only country he has visited twice in his first eighteen months. Last month Gajurel changed his act. He has been, he says, going to their hallowed Pashupatinath Temple, where Modi had offered prayers last August, and performing the kshama puja on behalf of Modi for “putting Nepal through such hard times”.

PM Narendra Modi. AFPPM Narendra Modi. AFP

PM Narendra Modi. AFP

That Narendra Modi is doing nothing to ease Nepal’s troubles is undeniable. It’s over two months now since Nepal passed the new constitution that New Delhi so disliked that it tried to scuttle it on the very eve of its passage and showed no grace in bowing to the inevitable when faced with a fait accompli. Since then things have only gone from bad to worse. The India-Nepal border is practically closed for goods and Nepal is starving for fuel, medicines and other essential items, a crisis that will snowball into a humanitarian catastrophe now that winter is nigh; incipient border clashes are breaking out, violence outbursts are taking lives in the border areas; the UN has been witness to first-ever skirmishes between the two countries initiated by New Delhi; while at home the Modi government is maintaining a hands off policy, it’s foreign ministry officials practically saying, they didn’t listen to us, now it’s their funeral, let them deal with it.

The big mystery still remains is why. Why is the NDA government being so obdurate? Why is Narendra Modi hellbent on doing a Rajiv Gandhi in Nepal? In 1989-90, differences over the renewal of trade and transit treaties and Kathmandu’s procurement of anti-aircraft guns from China had led India to impose a 15-month embargo on goods coming to Nepal. Rajiv Gandhi, with his misadventures in Nepal and Sri Lanka, can hardly be a role model for the man who could barely bring himself to mention even Jawaharlal Nehru’s name until forced to do so with gritted teeth only to save the GST Bill.

What does India gain by pushing Nepal into the arms of an eagerly waiting China? A much stronger, more emboldened and far more ambitious China than in Rajiv Gandhi’s days? China’s offer to send oil to Nepal is only the thin end of the wedge. Already more entry points have been opened up between the two countries, soon, going by China’s track record, more roads will be built, swifter means of communication will be in place, Nepal will slide away from India’s ambit of influence.

True, geography favours India. Transit is easier, cheaper and well established between these two countries. The reason why there is a richer history between these two neighbours, closer cultural and social ties. That may also be why India is happily playing this cat and mouse game. They are waiting for Nepal to be humbled, to surrender. Probably keeping fingers crossed too that the current, unyielding Oli government will fall under its own contradictions and India will be able to dictate terms again. And the biggest test may have just begun.

Indian television channels have been blocked in Nepal since yesterday. Whether the government has strong-armed the cable operators or the cable operators have become ultra-patriotic and stopped them by popular demand, as Kathmandu claims, is of course the big question. Whatever the answer, the unfolding saga is bound to be quite nail-biting. Will the people of Nepal, already suffering from shortages of cooking medium and heating fuel and life-saving medicine, be ready to do without their daily soaps, their daily fixes of saas-bahu serials too? If yes, then India has reason to worry. The tide will have turned, Nepal’s fury against India will become inflexible, implacable. The jokes about Narendra Modi will get louder and more raucous and Beijing will have the last laugh.

Maybe that is when Narendra Modi will feel impelled to hold out the olive branch to the only other Hindu majority country in the world. As he did to Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. But brinkmanship can hardly be the best way to run a government. Maybe it’s time someone gifted him a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People. No one likes bullies.

40 held for enforcing strike against ‘India’s blockade’ in Nepal

Kathmandu: At least 40 people were arrested in Nepal on Sunday for trying to enforce a strike called by a breakway CPN-Maoist party faction against “India’s blockade” of major border trading points with the landlocked country.

The strike called by the hardline CPN-Maoist (Biplav), a breakway faction of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, had little affect in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, though normal life was partially hit in other parts of the country.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Some shops in Kathmandu remained shut but most vehicles plied on roads in the capital.

At least 40 people have been arrested for trying to enforce the strike and vandalising vehicles, police said.

Five Maoist cadres were arreested in Kanchanpur district of far-west Nepal for vandalizing a jeep with an Indian number late.

A truck carrying bricks was set ablaze by Maoist cadres in Dhading district, some 60 kilometres west of Kathmandu.

“Our strike is against India’s blockade and its interventtion in Nepal’s internal affairs,” the party said a in a statement.

But Nepalis criticised the strike, expressing their frsutration over the ‘bandh’ at a time when people are already strained by fuel shortage, medicines and other essential goods because of the ongoing agitation by Madhesi people, who share strong cultural and family bonds with North Indians.

The Madhesi agitation, over demands to safeguard their interests and more representation in the new Constituion, near the border trade points has been on for more than two months now. Relations between India an Nepal have nosedived over the issue.

Madhesis, the main constituents of Nepal’s plains, seek an amendment to the Constitution, redrawing the seven-provinces model in the new charter.

PTI

13 SSB personnel detained by Nepal border guards, released after investigation

Nepal’s Armed Police Force (APF) personnel deployed at the Border Account Post at Kechana Village in Jhapa district, bordering Bihar’s Kishanganj district, arrested the SSB jawans around 6:30 AM, according to Nepal Police sources.

Representational Image

Nepal on Sunday briefly detained 13 personnel of India’s Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), who allegedly entered the country with arms while chasing suspected smugglers near Jhapa district, bordering Bihar.Nepal’s Armed Police Force (APF) personnel deployed at the Border Account Post at Kechana Village in Jhapa district, bordering Bihar’s Kishanganj district, arrested the SSB jawans around 6:30 am, according to Nepal Police sources.Four SSB jawans were carrying modern rifles, they said. All 13 SSB personnel were later released after being briefly kept at APF camp in Kechana.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assistant Chief District Officer Dambaru Prasad Niraula said they were handed over to the Indian side after an investigation into the incident. “They (SSB jawans) were quizzed on reason for entering Nepal,” Nirauala was quoted as saying by My Republica.Indian officials in New Delhi said the patrol party comprising 13 SSB personnel followed the lead team of two jawans, identified as Constables Roshan and Ramprasad of the 12th SSB battalion deployed in the area, and “inadvertently” crossed over to the other side by about 50 metres into Khuntanmani village after which villagers surrounded it.”Thirteen of our men were detained by APF at a border post along Indo-Nepal border. I had an interaction with the APF Chief and IG Mr Kesh Raj Onta and he had assured that these men will be released,” SSB Director General B D Sharma said in New Delhi.Sharma said there has been no ‘bodily harm’ to the SSB personnel and that they have been extended due courtesies by APF.The paramilitary force guards the 1,751 km-long open frontier with Nepal. Last week, four Nepalese nationals sustained injuries after being allegedly shot by SSB personnel in southern Nepal near the border with India.Nepal alleged that the SSB personnel entered 100 metres inside Nepalese territory in Sunsari district, which lies on the Nepal-India border, and fired at the four unarmed Nepalese nationals while chasing a group of chemical fertiliser smugglers. The Indian embassy, however, had said the border guards fired at the smugglers in self-defence inside Indian territory.India had last week hit out at Nepal for “shifting” blame of atrocities inside its “volatile” Sunsari district to the SSB. Relations between India and Nepal have nose-dived in recent months as Indian-origin Madhesis protesting against the new Constitution have blocked key border trade points with India, causing severe shortages of fuel and other essentials in the country.

Thirteen SSB troops released after being detained by Nepal police

Kathmandu/New Delhi: Nepal on Sunday briefly detained 13 personnel of India’s Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), who allegedly entered the country with arms while chasing suspected smugglers near Jhapa district, bordering Bihar.

Nepal’s Armed Police Force (APF) personnel deployed at the Border Account Post at Kechana Village in Jhapa district, bordering Bihar’s Kishanganj district, arrested the SSB jawans around 6:30 am, according to Nepal Police sources.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Four SSB jawans were carrying modern rifles, they said. All 13 SSB personnel were later released after being briefly kept at APF camp in Kechana.

Assistant Chief District Officer Dambaru Prasad Niraula said they were handed over to the Indian side after an investigation into the incident.

“They (SSB jawans) were quizzed on reason for entering Nepal,” Nirauala was quoted as saying by My Republica.
Indian officials in New Delhi said the patrol party comprising 13 SSB personnel followed the lead team of two jawans, identified as Constables Roshan and Ramprasad of the 12th SSB battalion deployed in the area, and “inadvertently” crossed over to the other side by about 50 metres into Khuntanmani village after which villagers surrounded it.

“Thirteen of our men were detained by APF at a border post along Indo-Nepal border. I had an interaction with the APF Chief and IG Mr Kesh Raj Onta and he had assured that these men will be released,” SSB Director General B D Sharma told PTI in New Delhi.
Sharma said there has been no ‘bodily harm’ to the SSB personnel and that they have been extended due courtesies by APF.
The paramilitary force guards the 1,751 km-long open frontier with Nepal.

Last week, four Nepalese nationals sustained injuries after being allegedly shot by SSB personnel in southern Nepal near the border with India.

Nepal alleged that the SSB personnel entered 100 metres inside Nepalese territory in Sunsari district, which lies on the Nepal-India border, and fired at the four unarmed Nepalese nationals while chasing a group of chemical fertiliser smugglers.

The Indian embassy here, however, had said the border guards fired at the smugglers in self-defence inside Indian territory.

India had last week hit out at Nepal for “shifting” blame of atrocities inside its “volatile” Sunsari district to the SSB.

Relations between India an Nepal have nosedived in recent months as Indian-origin Madhesis protesting against the new Constitution have blocked key border trade points with India, causing severe shortages of fuel and other essentials in the country.

PTI

Mann Ki Baat: PM Modi speaks about climate change, wants to turn ‘Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat’ into scheme

The PM stated that a national registry for organ donation had been opened on October 27.

PM Narendra Modi

PTI
Speaking on the Tamil Nadu floods, PM Narendra Modi in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address on Sunday said that the Central government’s team was working in Tamil Nadu to relieve people from distress.”Flood crisis during the festive season is saddening. Central government’s team is in Tamil Nadu, I have full faith in strength of Tamil Nadu,” said Modi.Subsequently, Modi also called on SAARC nations to show preparedness for disaster management and said that he had spoken to Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif on the issue after the Nepal earthquake.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Decrying the slash and burn agricultural practices of certain farmers, the PM said these practices were not helpful in the long term. However, he praised Indian farmers, comparing their contributions to those of scientists. Modi then addressed the issue of organ donation. “Organ donation can save valuable lives, in a way it brings immortality. What could be a bigger donation than this?”, he said.The PM stated that a national registry for organ donation had been opened on October 27. He also stressed on the need to fight against climate change and global warming. “The entire world today is concerned about climate change. Earth’s temperature should not further increase, this is a responsibility of everyone. The best way to make sure that Earth’s temperature is not further increased, is by energy conservation,” said Modi.Speaking out in support of persons with disabilities, Modi said that on December 3 India would mark ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’. “Differently-abled people are a source of inspiration for us. Their determination and courage is remarkable. On 3rd December we will mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, their courage is remarkable”, the PM stated.The PM announced that the government wished to turn ‘Ek Bharat, Sreshth Bharat’ into a scheme. “On Sardar Patel’s Jayanti I mentioned ‘Ek Bharat,Shrestha Bharat’. I want to turn it into a scheme. I invite your suggestions,” Modi said.To conclude, he advised one and all to remain fit through exercise, during the harsh winter season that is beginning to set in in several parts of India.

Stop seeing China as an adversary, says IAF chief Arup Raha

Stating that two rising economic or military powers can co-exist, he said, the adversarial stance should now change into a more friendly stance.

Stating that two rising economic or military powers can co-exist, he said, the adversarial stance should now change into a more friendly stance. (File Photo)

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Calling for mature statesmanship from India and China, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Saturday said the country should not look at China as an adversary anymore. “We are in the same region, we have common interests. I don’t think that we should look at them as adversaries anymore,” Raha told reporters here in Alipurduar district. “Yes, we had fought a conflict, we have borders to settle. I think its time for mature statesmanship from both the countries to reconcile on many issues … and cooperate (and) coordinate (for) development in the region,” he said when asked about the “threat” from China.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that two rising economic or military powers can co-exist, he said, the adversarial stance should now change into a more friendly stance. Earlier this month, the IAF chief was reported to have cited China’s growing influence in the Indian subcontinent as a major security challenge for India. China’s increasing economic and military ties with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar are all strategic moves by China to contain India, he had said.

Special Task Force arrests suspected ISI agent Zafar Khan in Kolkata

Yesterday, the documents recovered from suspected ISI agent Akhtar Khan’s home in the city “clearly showed” his links to Pakistan’s ISI, a top Special Task Force (STF) officer said.

Representational Image

After the arrest pf a suspected ISI agent Akhtar Khan, Special Task Force (STF) today arrested another suspected ISI agent Zafar Khan in Kolkata.Yesterday, the documents recovered from suspected ISI agent Akhtar Khan’s home in the city “clearly showed” his links to Pakistan’s ISI, a top Special Task Force (STF) officer said. Talking about their investigation, the STF officer said that the documents, unearthed from the Collin Street residence of the Khan showed his “deep-rooted” links with the Pakistani agency. According to him Khan went to Pakistan in 1985 and managed a job at a cloth factory at a monthly salary of Rs 10,000 in Pakistani currency with the help of one of his uncles who is a Pakistani. “Later on he (Khan) got married to a local woman which helped him getting a Pakistani passport,” the officer told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>But his financial condition deteriorated when the cloth factory shut down and that affected his marital status which eventually resulted into a divorce, the officer stated. Khan then decided to return India and ISI agents got in touch with him and asked him to work for the agency, he said.”They trained him in code management… There he learnt coding and decoding,” the officer said adding that several email address leading to ISI agents were found in Khan’s mail.”He then returned to India in 2008 crossing the Nepal border and started living at 76/B Collin Street in the southern part of the city. In fact, Khan’s cell phone has also been checked “thoroughly” to establish his other ISI-links and net his accomplices in India,” the officer said.According to another highly-placed STF-source, during the preliminary investigation, it had emerged that Khan alias Mohammed Javed alias Raju was also staying at another address at 15, Topsia Road. STF was conducting searches in and around the city for Khan’s accomplices.”High-quality FICN (fake Indian currency notes) seized from him may have been brought in from across the border with Nepal and we are looking for those who have helped him in bringing FICN here. There are at least six to seven persons involved with Khan,” the STF source said. The police was also investigating if Khan had gone to Pakistan in the 80s and returned to the city in 2008 after undergoing training there.Earlier, a city court remanded 51-year-old Khan in police custody for 14 days. The Special Task Force (STF) unit of Kolkata Police had arrested Khan on Saturday from the central part of the city for his alleged links with Pakistan’s ISI. Khan has been booked under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the Government of India), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by section 121), 122 (collecting arms etc with intention of waging war against the Government of India), 489B (using as genuine forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes) and 489C (possession of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes).Meanwhile, a brother of Khan alleged that he was being framed by the police and claimed he was not involved in any kind of illegal activity.”He was missing since November 7 and we had lodged a missing complaint with the Tiljala Police Station three days later on November 10. We think he was picked up by the police which prepared all fake documents against Khan…This is a conspiracy,” he alleged. With agency inputs

Nepal PM Oli urges India to lift economic blockade, says it’s causing a ‘humanitarian crisis’

Kathmandu: Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli has called on India to lift “unofficial blockade” in Nepal as soon as possible.

In his televised address on Sunday to the nation, the premier, who assumed office as the head of the government on 11 October, explicitly mentioned that Nepalis have been going through a hard time due to the blockade imposed by India.

K P Oli. File photo. Image courtesy: APK P Oli. File photo. Image courtesy: AP

K P Oli. File photo. Image courtesy: AP

“It is unthinkable that a sovereign nation faces such an inhumane and severe pain, misery and blockade in the 21st century for having a Constitution with progressive, pro-people and democratic contents through an elected Constituent Assembly with people’s overwhelming participation and democratic franchise,” Prime Minister Oli said, Xinhua reported.

The Nepali prime minister’s remark has come at a time when people of Nepal have been reeling under acute shortage of fuel and basic commodities due to an Indian embargo after Nepal adopted a democratic constitution on 20 September.

This was the first time that the Nepali prime minister categorically pointed out the Indian economic blockade in the Himalayan nation though India has been denying any embargo against Nepal.

The Indian government has cited security reasons behind the obstruction of supply of fuel and basic commodities to Nepal due to an ongoing agitation against the new Constitution by Nepal’s Madhesi parties at the India-Nepal border.

“Nepal is passing through a serious humanitarian crisis which should not happen even during the wars. The blockade imposed by our southern neighbour has underestimated the feeling of the Nepali and Indian people. Imposing a blockade to a landlocked nation is a breach of international treaties, norms and values,” the prime minister said.

He said that Nepal wants to have relations with its neighbours on the basis of the principles of Panchsheel.

Stating that the government was making all efforts to address genuine concerns of agitating Madhesi parties, Prime Minister Oli said that the government is ready to review the demarcation of federal sate borders which has been a key demand of the agitating parties.

“The newly promulgated Constitution is not discriminatory to any sections of people including the Madhesi. It has addressed the aspirations of all people. As the Constitution is a dynamic document, it can be amended several times. I would like to urge Madhesi parties to end the ongoing agitation,” the prime minister added.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s talks between the agitating Madhesi parties and the government has failed to reach any conclusion, officials told Xinhua.

IANS

No blockade on Nepal-India border, supplies to resume soon, says envoy Ranjit Rae

Expressing concern over the obstruction of essential supplies on the Nepal-India border, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae has clarified that India has not blocked supplies at the border, and added that if there was a blockade, then hundreds of trucks would not have lined up on the Indian side of the border.

PTI
Expressing concern over the obstruction of essential supplies on the Nepal-India border, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae has clarified that India has not blocked supplies at the border, and added that if there was a blockade, then hundreds of trucks would not have lined up on the Indian side of the border.”There are interruptions of supplies on the border because of ongoing protest by certain groups of Nepalese citizens. As soon as the protests are over, I am sure supplies will resume. We hope that with the dialogue process which is under way, there will be a resolution of these political issues that are agitating certain groups and communities in Nepal,” he said in an interview to Nepal TV.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also said that protests at Terai region in Nepal have been going for three months now and despite of killings and violent protests in the first and a half month, there was no resolution for the issues which lead a change in the nature of the protests, and also said, “Protestors started picketing the major access routes into India and that is when this so called notion of blockade started coming in.””The problem is rising because of insecurities, like the Birgunj incident. We see the problem is political in nature and we hope very much that these political issues will be resolved and once the protesters change the forms of protest and stops picketing borders routes, I am sure supplies would come back to normal. As far as the Indian government is concerned we have made every effort to re-route supplies through other check posts and also provide petroleum through other depots but 70% of Nepal’s trade comes from Birgung and that is the place which is blocked” he added.”Well I am not sure which supplies are coming in and which are not. There are 1600 trucks lined up in Sanoli, Nepal, these queues are there for several kilometers and trucks are coming one by one. As far as the petroleum is concerned foreign minister already made a request to re-route these trucks through other check post,” he said.Expressing grief over the killing of an Indian citizen in police firing Rae said, “We have asked the Nepal police to fully investigate the matter. We reject the allegations that Indians are fuelling the protests that are going in Tarai. We feel that there is mass agitation and people in parts of Tarai are involved, this is a home grown agitation arising out of certain perceptions of those people and it is best that those perceptions are addressed through dialogue,” he added.When asked about the bilateral relationship between India and Nepal, Rae said, “We are at a difficult stage of relationship but I am very confident that our relationship is very strong and robust. It is a relationship fundamentally between our peoples, so there are aberrations from time to time but I am confident that we emerge out of these every crises and difficulties. Both sides are committed to this relationship and we will do everything to set it back on the track.””Our perception is that the constitution being a foundational document. There were great expectations and aspirations from the people of Nepal. Some sections feel that they are not full stake holders in this process, has generated certain anxieties and protests. We are optimistic that these issues will be resolved and have to be resolved because that is the only solution to maintain peace and stability,” he said.He further added that India is very close friend and neighbour of Nepal.”Instabilities of Nepal will have a negative implication on us but we hope the dialogue process will progress and there will be a resolution of these complex issues and everything on border become normal.””I think there is a constant process of engagement in and there are many communication channels so we are constantly engaging with each other and I am also engaging all political actors, business communities and media to share, engage our views and resolve any issue that exists. We want Normal meeting, exchange institutional mechanisms in a multidimensional relationship should take place,” he told media here.”We understand the great desire of Nepal people of their right to constitution and this is the desire which was articulated more than 6 decades ago so we understand how important it is and obviously it is a foundational document which should accommodate every section of the society. It is not an easy task but it can be achieved. I think if you have a constitution is a great achievement and I hope it would accommodate all those who feel left out,” he added.He said that as long as the protests continue on Raxaul- Birgunj border, supplies would continue to remain interrupted.”Every effort will be made to create environment in which Nepal- India relation would improve but we reject anti- India campaigns,” said Rae.

Sashastra Seema Bal cancels Diwali leave of officers along Indo-Nepal border

New Delhi: Border guarding force SSB has cancelled Diwali leave of its officers commanding battalions deployed along the Indo-Nepal border in view of the prevailing situation in the neighbouring country and the declaration of poll results in Bihar.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The paramilitary’s headquarters in New Delhi has asked its field formations to implement the latest directive, also for Bhutan border, with an immediate effect and not allow any Casual Leave (CL) or Earned Leave (EL) for unit commanders in and around Diwali except on “extreme emergent grounds”.

While an official order issued in this regard said the step has been taken keeping in view the morale of thousands of jawans who could not not go home on the festival of Diwali, Sashastra Seema Bal chief BD Sharma said the directions have been issued keeping in mind the prevailing security situation especially along the Nepal border and the declaration of Assembly poll results in Bihar.

“It has been observed that many officers are proceeding on leave to celebrate Deepawali festival with their families.

“DG (Director General) has taken a serious view in the matter and instructed that officers must set an example and be present in the companies and border posts as well as in all field units and celebrate this festival with jawans who get relatively less opportunities to go on leave,” the order said.

When contacted, Sharma told PTI that the order was issued keeping in mind the morale and well being of the troops deployed all along the Nepal and Bhutan borders and the present security situation also warranted officers and other junior commanders to be on ground.

“We understand Deepawali is an important festival for everyone but the situation across the border in Nepal and the announcement of Bihar polls result are some developments that we are looking at.

“Not only the decision was taken to build up bonding between jawans and officers in the force, it was also aimed at ensuring that we have the maximum presence and dominance in border areas along both Nepal and Bhutan,” he said.

The SSB guards the 1,751 km long Indo-Nepal frontier and 800 kilometres is along Bihar.

Poll results were declared on Sunday for the 243 seat Bihar Assembly and the next few days will see a new government taking charge of the state.

The other border that SSB guards is the 699km Indo-Bhutan frontier.

Political crisis and protests by Madhesis in border areas between India and Nepal has been continuing for many days now and recently an Indian was killed in the firing by Nepalese security forces who were quelling the protestors.

While there have been differing opinions in the about 70,000 personnel strong force about the latest order, a number of officials and jawans PTI spoke to said the new directive will surely bring in larger camaraderie and esprit de corps in the force.

“It is a good decision. It has never happened in the force that officers stay back in full numbers to celebrate a big festival like Deepawali with jawans who are the bulk of the strength of the border guarding units.

“This will send a good message that their seniors are with them and care for them,” a senior official said.

The SSB headquarters is expected to chart out a new plan for giving leaves to its officers and jawans during major festivals from the next time, an official said.

PTI

RSS, BJP leaders hold meet; discuss Bihar polls, Nepal

In the meeting which continued till late in the evening, top leaders discussed the Bihar polls and how BJP has fared.

The meeting was held at the residence of party chief Amit Shah.

File Photo
The Bihar assembly elections and the emerging situation in Nepal were the issues discussed between top BJP and RSS leaders at a meeting here today that was held at the residence of party chief Amit Shah. According to sources, BJP general secretary (Organisation) Ramlal was among those who attended the meeting besides RSS joint general secretary Krishna Gopal, who is also a pointsman for BJP. In the meeting which continued till late in the evening, top leaders discussed the Bihar polls and how BJP has fared.Later, in another meeting, the top BJP and RSS leaders discussed the Nepal situation during which the latter expressed concerns over reports that the neighbouring country was moving closer to China. “Discussions were held to overcome the current scenario,” the sources said. Among those present in the meeting were RSS regional pracharak Prem Kumar, Nepal’s Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh’s national pracharak Ved Prakash and joint pracharak Rewat Kumar. BJP’s Nepal cell head Ajit Kumar also attended it. Though there was no official word on the meeting, the sources said that it went on till late in the night.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bihar assembly poll results will be out on Sunday. Exit polls are predicting a close fight while both NDA and grand alliance have claimed victory in the state.

No international dimension to stand on Nepal at the UN: India

New Delhi: A day after it raised for the first time the current crisis in Nepal at the UN, India on Thursday said there was no “international dimension” to its statement and asserted that Nepalese government has to address the political crisis which was hampering supplies from Indian side.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said India was awaiting the report from Nepalese government on the killing of an Indian during a protest in Birganj.

MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup. Reuters

MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup. Reuters

“There is no international dimension. What India said at the second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is part of the internationally agreed process and as part of Nepal’s membership of the UNHRC,” he said when asked about India’s statement at the Interactive Dialogue at 23rd Session of the UPR Working Group on Wednesday in Geneva.

Asking Nepal to consolidate Constitution building by accommodating “all sections” while emphasising that problems facing it cannot be resolved through force, India had said,”We note the concerns expressed by UN human rights bodies, UN Country Team and Nepal’s own Human Rights Commission over continuing incidents of violence, extra-judicial killings and ethnic discrimination in the country.”

India also urged the Himalayan nation to investigate and take credible measures to prevent recurrence of “incidents of violence, extra-judicial killings and ethnic discrimination in the country”. This is for the first time, India has raised the issue of Nepal at the UN.

Asked about Nepal’s request that ahead of Diwali, India should ensure smooth supply of essential commodities to check anti-India sentiment, the Spokesperson said, “The problem in Nepal is a political problem and has to have a political solution and that what we have been urging Nepal consistently from day one and that is what we will continue doing.

“There is a problem in Nepal due to disaffection among the section of the Nepali population and sooner the Nepalese leadership reaches out to that particular section and reaches
to some kind of accommodation, the sooner our supplies can resume which has been caused entirely by the blockade at the Nepalese side of the border.”

On the killing of an Indian by Nepal police during a protest in Birganj on November 2, the Spokesperson said, “The embassy has sought investigation report from government of Nepal. Let’s await that report.”

Swarup also insisted that the obstruction in the supply of essential goods to Nepal was due to protests there. Giving the details of cargo trucks crossing from some of the entry points, he said India has always tried to send its vehicles whenever it could with supplies.

Madhesis, Indian-origin inhabitants of Nepal’s Terai region, are protesting against division of their ancestral homeland among other issue under the new Constitution and their agitation has closed the main trading point near Raxaul, halting supply of essential goods from India, causing an acute shortage of fuel in Nepal.

PTI

dna Must Read: From latest on Indian killed in Nepal to Congress’ march against intolerance tomorrow

Top 5 stories which you must read at this hour.

1) PM Modi speaks to Nepal PM KP Oli, expresses ‘shock’ over killing of IndianPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed “shock” over the unfortunate killing of a youngster from Bihar due to police firing in Nepal and requested for details from his Nepalese counterpart KP Oli during a telephonic conversation. Read full story here2) Awards Wapasi: Noted historian Shekhar Pathak from Uttarakhand returns Padma Shri<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Announcing the decision at the ongoing 4th Nainital Film Festival which got underway in the tourist town today, Shekhar Pathak said his move was in “protest against the atmosphere of growing intolernace in the country and the neglect of the Himalayan region”. To read the full story, please click here.3) Calling PM Modi victim of intolerance will give him fullest justification for being vengeful: Arun ShourieArun Shourie also agreed with the suggestion that Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah were pitting one community against another in Bihar and cited a Pakistani analyst to say that while the neighbouring country was trying to get out of the pit, India was slowly going down its way.​ Read it here.4) Sonia Gandhi meets President Mukherjee ahead of march against intolerance tomorrowCongress chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday met President Pranab Mukherjee ahead of the proposed march by party leaders to Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday to request him to invoke his constitutional powers to stem the “atmosphere of intolerance”.​ Read the full story here.5) Bigg Boss 9: Day 22- Nominations, Rishabh Sinha’s entry, Keith-Rochelle’s meltdown over Mandana are highlights!Wildcard entry, Rishabh Sinha enters the house and creates a furore! Read that, and more about tonight’s episode, here.

dna Must Read for evening: Congress defends Rahul Gandhi remark, Indian killed in Nepal firing, SRK’s birthday & more

Here are the top 5 reads from dna.

1) Nothing wrong in Rahul Gandhi’s remark, PM Modi misused machinery: Congress- Party spokesman Anand Sharma said there was “nothing wrong” in Gandhi’s statement as it was a part of the political discourse. 2) Less girls in B-schools: Chanda Kochhar blames excessive focus on maths in entrance tests.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3) Indian killed as Nepal police clear protesting Madhesis from Indo-Nepal border: Ashish Ram of Raxaul in Bihar was killed as police opened fire on protesters. 4) #HappyBirthdayKingKhan: Shah Rukh Khan’s AbRam waving to fans outside Mannat will make you go awww!- Here is the most adorable thing you will read today. 5) Gujarat HC reserves order on second sedition FIR against Hardik Patel: The Gujarat High Court on Monday reserved its order after hearing arguments on a plea of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and five others seeking quashing of FIR against them.

Nepal police remove border blockade

Police in Nepal clear a protest blockade cutting off vital supply lines at a border crossing, which had caused massive fuel shortages.

Election Commission seeks report on Amit Shah’s ‘firecrackers in Pakistan’ comment

A RJD delegation had submitted a memorandum to the Bihar Election Office against Shah’s comment and also some advertisements issued by BJP in newspapers here on October 28 and October 29 which it alleged were “misleading, highly inflammatory and polarising”.

Shah had told an election rally at Raxual on Indo-Nepal border in East Champaran district yesterday that if BJP loses in Bihar Diwali will be celebrated in Pakistan.

File Photo
Acting on a complaint lodged against BJP national president Amit Shah’s “firecrackers in Pakistan” comment, the state election office sought on Friday report from the returning officer on the remark. “We have sought report from district magistrates of East and West Champaran regarding the remark of BJP President Amit Shah,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshmanan told reporters here. The two officers have been asked to submit the report at the earliest and the election office would decide action based on their reports.Shah had told an election rally at Raxual on Indo-Nepal border in East Champaran district yesterday that if BJP loses in Bihar Diwali will be celebrated in Pakistan. He is said to have repeated the same in another rally at Bettiah, headquarter of West Champaran district yesterday itself.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: Amit Shah’s Pakistan comment: Opposition wants EC to bar BJP President from entering BiharEast Champaran and West Champaran have 12 and nine assembly seats respectively and would be going to the polls in the fourth phase on November one. A RJD delegation had submitted a memorandum to the Bihar Election Office against Shah’s comment and also some advertisements issued by BJP in newspapers here on October 28 and October 29 which it alleged were “misleading, highly inflammatory and polarising”.JD(U), Congress and RJD partners in the grand secular alliance, had also knocked the doors of the Election Commission against Shah in Delhi.

Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad made Bihar a haven of terrorists, claims Sushil Kumar Modi

Sushil Kumar Modi was referring to the arrest of the outlawed terror outfit–Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal’s arrest on the Indo-Nepal border over two years ago in Bihar’s Madhubani district.

Sushil Kumar Modi charged Lalu Prasad and Sushil Kumar Modi with jeopardising the security of the country for votes (of a particular community).
File Photo
PTI
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Friday charged Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad with making Bihar a “haven of terrorists” with an eye on the vote of a particular community, remarks that assume significance ahead of polling in 112 assembly seats having a sizeable presence of minorities.”Lalu-Nitish made Bihar a haven of terrorists with an eye on the voters of a particular community….a terrorist was dealt with softly because of his religion,” he said in a series of tweets a day after BJP President had said in Raxaul that firecrackers will be burst in Pakistan if by mistake BJP is defeated in Bihar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi was referring to the arrest of the outlawed terror outfit–Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal’s arrest on the Indo-Nepal border over two years ago in Bihar’s Madhubani district.Claiming that the Bihar Police had refused to take Bhatkal into its custody, the senior BJP leader alleged that the Chief Minister had made the ADG Rajesh Chandra to return to the state capital from Muzaffarpur while he was going to Raxaul to interrogate the IM co-founder.The then Bihar DGP neither questioned Bhatkal nor took him into police remand before handing him over to the central agencies, Modi said. He alleged that dozens of districts of Bihar were converted into a nursery of terrorism during the 25 years rule of the RJD and the JD(U) and that the terror attacks in Bodh Gaya and Patna (during Modi’s rally in Gandhi Maidan) was due to the state government’s indifferent towards terrorist activities in the state.Modi charged the RJD supremo and senior JD(U) leader with jeopardising the security of the country for votes (of a particular community).”For votes, Lalu and Nitish can put the entire country at risk…what to talk of Bihar only,” the BJP leader said in an attack on the secular alliance leaders.Taking cue from the BJP national president Amit Shah’s controversial remarks, Modi said that the BJP’s win at in the Bihar assembly polls will be celebrated as Diwali in India, while if the secular alliance registered victory it will be celebrations in Pakistan.”If BJP wins in Bihar there will be Diwali in India and if UPA wins there will be celebration in Pakistan,”

Nepal signs deal with China for supplies as fuel crisis deepens | Reuters

KATHMANDU Nepal signed a deal on Wednesday with China to import petroleum products, its embassy in Beijing said, as the Himalayan nation tries to boost supplies to deal with a deepening fuel crisis.

Kathmandu has been forced to ration fuel after protests against a new constitution strangled supplies from India into the landlocked nation.

India has been critical of Nepal for rushing through the constitution despite opposition from minorities living close to its border. While the Himalayan nation accuses India of imposing a blockade to show its displeasure, New Delhi says its truck drivers are concerned for their safety.

The Nepalese embassy said in a statement a memorandum of understanding had been signed between Nepal Oil Corp and National United Oil Corp (PetroChina), without giving details of the deal.

Nepali and Chinese officials were not immediately available comments.

China will also supply 1,000 tonnes of fuel to Nepal as a grant, the statement said.

Nepal is almost totally dependent on India for overland supplies following earthquakes in the spring that killed nearly 9,000 people and blocked crossings from China.

But as relations with India turned sour, there has been growing speculation that Kathmandu might seek help from China, India’s rival in the Himalayas.

(Reporting by Ross Adkin; Writing by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Alison Williams)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

India wants to see Nepal united, inclusive, stable: PM Modi

Conveying his best wishes to the new government that took over in Kathmandu about a week back, Modi underlined that India is committed to strengthening the traditional bonds of friendship and kinship with the people of Nepal.
File Photo
Getty Images
Amid an unease in the bilateral relations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday made it clear to Nepal that India’s only desire is to see the neighbouring country united, inclusive, stable and prosperous, as he met its Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa here.Conveying his best wishes to the new government that took over in Kathmandu about a week back, Modi underlined that India is committed to strengthening the traditional bonds of friendship and kinship with the people of Nepal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thapa, who holds the portfolio of Foreign Affairs, briefed Modi about developments in Nepal which has been witnessing a turmoil in southern parts inhabited by Indian-origin people ever since the country adopted a new Constitution nearly a month back.”Prime Minister reiterated that India’s only desire is to see a united, inclusive, stable and prosperous Nepal, and that India is committed to strengthening the traditional bonds of friendship and kinship with the people of Nepal,” a PMO statement said.Modi congratulated Thapa on assuming charge as the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Nepal.The relations between India and Nepal are uneasy since the agitation by Indian-origin people in southern parts of Nepal like Terai, which has hit supplies of essential commodities to that country from here.During his meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj here yesterday, Thapa had expressed concern over the obstruction in the supplies from the Indian side especially petroleum oil lubricants, to which Swaraj told him that the “reduced or closure was due to the obstructions on the Nepalese side by the disaffected section of the Nepalese population.”Swaraj told the visiting minister that India was looking forward to steps being taken by Nepalese government to “credibly” address the challenges faced by the country including in the Terai region at the earliest.

dna Must Reads for morning: From Supreme Court’s verdict on NJAC to Nepal’s new constitution

Supreme Court

1. Supreme Court verdict on NJAC triggers government, judiciary face offThe Modi government on Friday suffered a second setback over its pet reforms with the Supreme Court quashing the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) and restoring the collegium system. The move has brought the government and the judiciary virtually on the verge of a confrontation. Read more here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Rail Neer’ racket: CBI seizes Rs 20 crore during raids; case against two former Railway officialsThe Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday registered a case against two former Chief Commercial Managers (Catering), Northern Railways for allegedly showing favour to private firms which provided cheap packaged drinking water(PDW) to premium trains instead of the mandatory “Rail Neer”. Read more here.3. Palestinians set fire to Jewish shrine; Israeli soldier stabbedPalestinians set fire to a Jewish shrine in the occupied West Bank, and an attacker disguised as a journalist stabbed an Israeli soldier on Friday as tensions ran high after more than two weeks of violence. Read more here.4. Policy draft calls for 20% MP funds for education, social upliftment by institutionsThe draft of the National Education Policy (NEP) envisages a separate and permanent cadre for education on the lines of administrative, revenue, foreign and police services. As per the draft, being drawn up by the HRD ministry, MPs will be asked to contribute 20% of their funds to education. Read more here.5. Nepal constitution ends 8-year deadlock, but not pessimismThey have a constitution now in Nepal. Finally. It’s a real constitution, too, not like the interim agreement that kept things stumbling along for the last eight years, since soon after a peace deal ended a war with Maoist rebels. Read more here.

Gurgaon: Girl gangraped by six in guest house

The victim, hailing from West Bengal, stated before police that she along with a female friend and one of the accused person came from Delhi to a guest house

She and her friend were also allegedly beaten up, they added.

A 20-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped by six youths in a guest house located at DLF City here, police said on Friday. The victim, hailing from West Bengal, stated before police that she along with a female friend and one of the accused person came from Delhi to a guest house where the remaining five accused persons were present, situated at DLF for her birthday celebration last night, they said. On the pretext of celebration, the accused persons got drunk and raped her one by one, police said. She and her friend were also allegedly beaten up, they added. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the morning, her friend managed to slip away from the guest house and informed the police. Consequently the girl was rescued and an FIR was registered in this regard, informed Deputy Commissioner of Police East Deepak Saharan. He further said that all six accused persons, who belong to Nepal, have been arrested. The medical examination of the girl was conducted and her statement was recorded before a judicial magistrate by the police. Further investigations are going on in the matter. Police lodged an FIR under IPC sections 323, 342, 506, 376D, 120B IPC against the six.

Sushma Swaraj’s Maldives visit this weekend could pave the way for Modi’s trip to the country

India has finally warmed up to Maldives and its controversial regime of President Abdulla Yameen six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi cancelled his scheduled trip to the Indian Ocean island country. As a signal of India’s rapprochement, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be in the Maldivian capital Male this weekend.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. AFP

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. AFP

This was expected to happen sooner or later as India can’t ignore a neighbour and SAARC member like Maldives, particularly after contiguous neighbour Nepal has made life miserable for Indian foreign policy establishment in past few weeks.

The two sides found a novel idea of ending their political winter of sorts by deciding to revive the architecture of a joint commission between them which had been lying moribund for past 15 years.

Therefore, the official reason of Sushma Swaraj visiting Maldives on 10-11 October, as announced by MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup at his first stand-alone briefing in New Delhi on Thursday, is that she will be co-chairing the revived India-Maldives Joint Commission with her Maldivian counterpart Dunya Maumoon. This will be the first meeting of the joint commission since 2000.

Swaraj had met the Maldivian foreign minister in New York on 30 September on the sidelines of UN General Assembly where the two ladies had discussed their upcoming formal meeting in Male.

President Yameen has of late been extending an olive branch to India by heaping lavish praise on the country. Just about five weeks ago, President Yameen said his country shared an “unbreakable” bond with India. He sent strong positive vibes to India on 2 September by appreciating India’s generous assistance and the effort of his government to strengthen relations with India, as reported by the Maldivian media outfit.

Two months ago, Yameen had written a letter to PM Modi assuring him that his country’s recent constitution amendment legislation allowing foreigners to own land in Maldives was not in any way a move against India and assured that his country would do nothing to militarize the Indian Ocean. Yameen’s letter to Modi was in response to a letter the Indian PM had written to him after the Maldivian parliament had passed the constitution amendment legislation.

But the surprising thing about Sushma Swaraj’s upcoming visit to Maldives is that she won’t be meeting any opposition leaders. The Maldivian opposition is going through a harrowing time as Mohammed Nasheed, former President of Maldives and leader of the main opposition party MDP, is in jail since February this year after being convicted for terror charges. The Yameen regime has invoked censure from the West, particularly the US and the EU, apart from the United Nations.

PM Modi had cancelled his scheduled trip to Maldives in March this year only because of the unjust and barbarian treatment handed out to Nasheed by the Yameen government.

It is not clear why Sushma Swaraj won’t be meeting any opposition leaders in Maldives at a time when they are in acute distress and are looking forward to the world’s biggest democracy for help.

However, if all goes well and the two foreign ministers hit it off well, it may pave the way for PM Modi’s visit to Maldives. Indications are that the two governments are already working in that direction. In that sense, Swaraj’s visit to Maldives this weekend will be crucial.

Sushma’s Maldives visit this weekend could pave the way for Modi’s trip to the country

India has finally warmed up to Maldives and its controversial regime of President Abdulla Yameen six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi cancelled his scheduled trip to the Indian Ocean island country. As a signal of India’s rapprochement, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be in the Maldivian capital Male this weekend.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. AFP

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. AFP

This was expected to happen sooner or later as India can’t ignore a neighbour and SAARC member like Maldives, particularly after contiguous neighbour Nepal has made life miserable for Indian foreign policy establishment in past few weeks.

The two sides found a novel idea of ending their political winter of sorts by deciding to revive the architecture of a joint commission between them which had been lying moribund for past 15 years.

Therefore, the official reason of Sushma Swaraj visiting Maldives on 10-11 October, as announced by MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup at his first stand-alone briefing in New Delhi on Thursday, is that she will be co-chairing the revived India-Maldives Joint Commission with her Maldivian counterpart Dunya Maumoon. This will be the first meeting of the joint commission since 2000.

Swaraj had met the Maldivian foreign minister in New York on 30 September on the sidelines of UN General Assembly where the two ladies had discussed their upcoming formal meeting in Male.

President Yameen has of late been extending an olive branch to India by heaping lavish praise on the country. Just about five weeks ago, President Yameen said his country shared an “unbreakable” bond with India. He sent strong positive vibes to India on 2 September by appreciating India’s generous assistance and the effort of his government to strengthen relations with India, as reported by the Maldivian media outfit.

Two months ago, Yameen had written a letter to PM Modi assuring him that his country’s recent constitution amendment legislation allowing foreigners to own land in Maldives was not in any way a move against India and assured that his country would do nothing to militarize the Indian Ocean. Yameen’s letter to Modi was in response to a letter the Indian PM had written to him after the Maldivian parliament had passed the constitution amendment legislation.

But the surprising thing about Sushma Swaraj’s upcoming visit to Maldives is that she won’t be meeting any opposition leaders. The Maldivian opposition is going through a harrowing time as Mohammed Nasheed, former President of Maldives and leader of the main opposition party MDP, is in jail since February this year after being convicted for terror charges. The Yameen regime has invoked censure from the West, particularly the US and the EU, apart from the United Nations.

PM Modi had cancelled his scheduled trip to Maldives in March this year only because of the unjust and barbarian treatment handed out to Nasheed by the Yameen government.

It is not clear why Sushma Swaraj won’t be meeting any opposition leaders in Maldives at a time when they are in acute distress and are looking forward to the world’s biggest democracy for help.

However, if all goes well and the two foreign ministers hit it off well, it may pave the way for PM Modi’s visit to Maldives. Indications are that the two governments are already working in that direction. In that sense, Swaraj’s visit to Maldives this weekend will be crucial.

dna Afternoon Must Read: From IMF’s optimistic projection about India to latest in Dadri case and more

Here is a curated list of top 5 stories at afternoon.

1. Is Indian Air force suffering due to PM Modi’s ‘Make In India’ initiative?India’s government has turned down the military’s request to expand the acquisition of 36 fighter planes from Dassault Aviation SA to plug vital gaps, officials said, nudging it to accept an indigenous combat plane 32 years in the making.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision, in line with his Make-in-India policy to encourage domestic industry, is a blow for not only the French manufacturer but also others circling over the Indian military aviation market worth billions of dollars. Read More <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. IMF sees India retaining fastest growing economy tag next year tooIndian economy is expected to grow faster than other major emerging economies, said the International Monetary Fund has said, projecting a growth rate of 7.5% for India in 2016 as against China’s 6.3%. “Growth in India is expected to rise above the rates in other major emerging market economies,” the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook update. “India’s growth is expected to strengthen from 7.3% this year and last year to 7.5% next year. Growth will benefit from recent policy reforms, a consequent pickup in investment, and lower commodity prices,” it said. Read More 3. Strongest action against those who disrupt communal harmony, warns Rajnath SinghStrongest possible action will be taken against those who try to disrupt communal harmony in the country, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday, days after a man was lynched in UP’s Dadri district over beef consumption rumours.”Be it the state government or the central government, strongest possible action will be taken against those who try to break communal harmony in the country,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi. The Home Minister was replying to a question about tension in Dadri where a Muslim man was lynched by a mob over allegation of beef consumption. Read More 4. Madhesis to continue Nepal-India border blockade until demands metNepal’s United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) on Wednesday told the negotiators of the Government that their blockade of entry points on Nepal-India border would continue until their demands were met.According to The Himalayan Times, UDMF negotiator Sarvendranath Shukla told the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the Unified CPN-Maoist that they should come with a roadmap when they sit for talks again tomorrow. Read More 5. ‘Hindutva’ ideology ruining name of Hindus everywhere, says Nayantara SahgalEminent writer Nayantara Sahgal, the niece of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who returned her ‘Sahitya Akademi’ Award over the Dadri lynching case, said on Wednesday that the rampant ‘Hindutva ideology’ was ruining the name of Hindus in the nation.”The prevailing situation of the country is very pathetic. The Hindutva ideology which is going on in the country right now is ruining the name of the Hindus and as a Hindu myself, I am very hurt,” Sahgal said.With Agency inputs

Tension brews in Bihar’s Kishanganj over rumours of defacement of idol

Kishanganj (Bihar): Ahead of the Bihar assembly elections, there was tension in Kishanganj over the alleged defacement of an idol of Goddess Kali in the Nepal Gadh colony of the district in the wee hours of Monday.  As the news spread, locals gathered in large numbers. The administration acted swiftly and brought the situation under control.

Kishanganj District Magistrate Animesh Kumar Prashar and Superintendent of Police Rajiv Ranjan urged people to go back to their homes and not believe in rumours. The police carried out flag marches in several areas anticipating a possible breach of peace. Jawans of the Bihar Police and paramilitary forces were rushed to the area to deal with the anti-social elements.

“This act is aimed at disrupting peace in the area but we will not allow it to happen at any cost. Those who are involved will soon be arrested and actions will be taken against them,” Prashar told Firstpost, adding that they were “closely monitoring the situation, which is completely under control”.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The police force in the district, SP Ranjan said, is keeping a strict vigil in the area and search for the culprits is on. “They will be arrested soon,” he added.

Asked if they see any provocation from any organisation, he said, “We have no knowledge of it. The police have been doing their duty and we will not let anyone disrupt peace in the district.”

Residents restricted their activities and shops remained closed. The usual activity in the festive season slowed down as not many ventured out of their homes on Monday morning.

“The entire market and neighbourhood used to be flooded with people shopping for Jitya festival. However, in view of the tension here, lesser number of people have come out. Last year, riots broke out after the chopped head of a cow was found near a temple,” said Kush Kumar Singh, who runs a paan shop.

Security in the neighbouring areas has also been beefed up to avoid any unavoidable circumstances. Kishanganj is going to the polls on 5 November, the last phase of the five phased elections this year.

dna Afternoon Must Read: Latest in Dadri incident, protest against India in Nepal and more

Here is a curated list of top 5 stories for your afternoon read.

1. Dadri killing: Victim’s family meet UP CM Akhilesh Yadav
The family members of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was killed by a mob over reports of possessing beef at his residence, met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav here on Sunday. Yadav had earlier announced a compensation of Rs. 20 lakh to the kin of 50-year-old Akhlaq. The Chief Minister had also assured justice to the family of Akhlaq and said those responsible would be severely punished. Read More <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Top mainstream parties of Nepal unite against IndiaThree main parties in Nepal have come together against India’s bid for participation in Nepal’s constitution-making process. The main parties, Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), Nepali Congress (NC) and Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) have come together to oppose India’s efforts to customize Nepal’s new constitution to its own requirements. Read More 3. Did the Indian army plan to topple the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1987?In a sensational claim that may bring into limelight cracks in the relationship between the army and the ruling class in the past, a former Army commander has claimed that there was a plan to topple Rajiv Gandhi’s government in 1987. An army coup was planned to execute the operation, reports a leading daily. Read More 4. Japanese shot dead in Bangladesh, ISIS claims responsibilityA 66-year-old Japanese man, known for philanthropic work, was today shot dead by the Islamic State militants in Bangladesh, the second foreigner to be gunned down in a week after an Italian aid worker was killed in a near-identical attack by the dreaded outfit. Read More 5. Nagpur: 20-year-old girl set ablaze on eatery’s terrace, battles for life
A 20-year-old girl in Nagpur was allegedly set on fire by some unidentified persons near a city lake, police said. The incident came to light after victim, Nikita Sulwani, was seen engulfed in flames on the terrace of a closed restaurant near a picnic spot at Futala lake in the western part of city shortly after midnight, they said.The person who saw her screaming for help came to her rescue and got her admitted to a private nursing home. Read More With agency inputs

Top mainstream parties of Nepal unite against India

New Delhi is sympathetic to the demands of Madhesis for more representation and autonomy.

File Photo: Minority Madhesi and Tharus groups, living in plains – the Terai region — just across the borders of UP and Bihar protesting.

Three main parties in Nepal have come together against India’s bid for participation in Nepal’s constitution-making process.The main parties, Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), Nepali Congress (NC) and Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) have come together to oppose India’s efforts to customize Nepal’s new constitution to its own requirements.New Delhi is sympathetic to the demands of Madhesis for more representation and autonomy. Madhesis include people who speak Maithili, Bhojpuri, Avadhi, Hindi and Urdu.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Commenting on this, a Nepali diplomat said, “Delhi seems to have lost much of its goodwill in the rest of Nepal by supporting only one section of the population. The Nepali people will take a long time to get over this.”Meanwhile, Nepal has turned to the UN over alleged obstruction of a key border trade point with India that has resulted in acute shortage of essential goods as it appealed to the international community to ensure that land- locked countries’ freedom of transit is not curtailed.Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh, who led Nepal’s delegation to the UN General Assembly, held talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during which the issue of “India’s blockade” on the border also figured, reported PTI quoting sources.While addressing the General Assembly yesterday, Singh appealed to the world community to ensure effective and unhindered access to the sea for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) like Nepal through effective implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action for 2014-2024.”The world needs to ensure LLDCs unhindered access to the sea for free movement of people and goods. We stress that the freedom of transit of LLDCs should not be constrained under any circumstance or pretext to disrupt the flow of goods and services.”The freedom of transit of LLDCs must be fully and unconditionally adhered to by all transit countries,” said Singh, also the Nepali Congress general secretary.His remarks come at a time when Nepal claims to be suffering from scarcity of essential goods like fuel and cooking gas due to what it terms as “undeclared blockade” of a key trade point at the border with India by people protesting the controversial newly-promulgated Constitution.India has rejected as “totally false” allegations that it blockaded the checkpoint and has emphasised that it can only take goods up to the border and beyond that it is the responsibility of the Nepalese side to ensure adequate safety and security for the trucks.

India says allegations of blockading trade checkpoint on Nepal border are ‘totally false’

New York: India has rejected as “totally false” allegations that it blockaded a key trade checkpoint on the border with Nepal amid protests over that country’s new Constitution even as it emphasised that it is for the Nepalese people and parties to find a mutually acceptable solution.

“Our stand is very very clear. We do not want to be prescriptive. It is for the people of Nepal and the political parties in Nepal to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution something for which ownership can be taken by all sections,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in New York on Wednesday when asked about India’s stand on Nepal’s constitution-drafting process.

File photo of Sushma Swaraj. AFPFile photo of Sushma Swaraj. AFP

File photo of Sushma Swaraj. AFP

He was briefing reporters on the bilateral and multilateral engagements of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

Swaraj had a bilateral meeting with Nepal Foreign Minister Mahendra Pandey where she said that the allegation that India had imposed a blockade was “totally false”.

“We can only take goods up to the border and beyond the border it is the responsibility of the Nepalese side to ensure that there is adequate safety and security for the trucks to enter that side,” Swarup said.

He said that 4,310 trucks are waiting at the border but cannot proceed into Nepal due to the disturbed security situation.

He added that Indian transporters had voiced complaints about the difficulty they are facing in movement within Nepal and the security fears due to the prevailing unrest.

On Wednesday, trucks from India carrying essential goods and petroleum products started entering Nepal which is grappling with a fuel crisis due to the blockading of a key trade checkpoint by protesters opposing Nepal’s new Constitution.

About 100 cargo trucks entered Nepal from the Sunauli border in UP. The trucks had been stranded on the Indian side for more than five days due to the ongoing blockade imposed by the Madhesi groups opposing the promulgation of the new Constitution.

Madhesis are Indian-origin inhabitants of the Terai region bordering India who are opposed to splitting Nepal into seven provinces according to the new Constitution.

At least 40 people have died in over a month of clashes between police and protesters from the Madhesi and Tharu communities and ethnic minorities.

PTI

Trucks carrying essential supplies enter Nepal from India as blockade ends

More than 300 trucks carrying essential supplies have been stranded on the Indian side due to the ongoing blockade imposed the Madhesi groups opposing the promulgation of the new Constitution.

Nepal lawmakers congratulate each other after new constitution is passed in Parliament

AFP photo
Trucks from India carrying essential goods and petroleum products started entering Nepal on Wednesday, which is grappling with a fuel crisis due to the blockade of a key trade checkpoint with India by protesters opposing Nepal’s new Constitution. Several cargo trucks entered the Nepali side from Sunauli border in Bhairahawa.More than 300 trucks carrying essential supplies have been stranded on the Indian side due to the ongoing blockade imposed the Madhesi groups opposing the promulgation of the new Constitution.Madhesis are Indian-origin inhabitants of the Terai region bordering India who are opposed to splitting Nepal into seven provinces.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 40 people have died in over a month of clashes between police and protesters from the Madhesi and Tharu communities and ethnic minorities.Nepal government enforced the odd-even system for all kinds of vehicles plying in major cities from today in a bid to reduce the impact of the fuel crisis. It has also been rationing petroleum products in Kathmandu to tackle the problem. The blockade in the Nepal-India border point has made life harder for the people of Nepal for the past 4-5 days.Some people in Nepal blame India for the shortage by imposing an embargo. India denies imposing blockade, saying truck drivers are concerned for their safety after protests in the country.Related Read: Nepali leader tipped to be PM says India ‘breaking international law’ by ‘halting cross-border trade’

Nepal blocks Indian TV channels

Cable TV operators in Nepal are blocking 42 Indian channels in protest against what they call a “blockade of goods” into the country.

Will establish link with China through road if blockade doesn’t end: Nepal

Upping the ante, Nepal said it is looking at establishing contacts with China through land route and with other countries through air if the blockade on India border does not end soon.Nepalese deputy PM and home minister, Bamdev Gautam told dna in an interview that it is keeping its options open and will not bow to any pressure.“It is true that India is a strong country and a big economy but to live we will have to make alternative arrangements. It is within our rights to have alternative arrangements… Nepal has never bowed down to anyone and will not bow even now. We will establish contact with China through land and with other countries through air to get the essential supplies,” said Guatam.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Blaming squarely the government of India, Gautam said that all border check posts along Indian border have closed down and the Indian government has fully supported the blockade.“Indian representatives say it is not Indian government’s policy but the Indian officials at the border have told us that they are doing it as per the instructions of their government. This blockade has been done in favour of Madhesi parties. About 29-30 years ago India had done blockade for several days when Rajiv Gandhi was the PM then Nepal showed that Nepal can never be bowed down due to blockade,” said Gautam.People in Kathmandu have started feeling the pangs of the blockade on the India-Nepal border that continued for the fourth successive day. Several petrol pumps reported shortage of fuel supply in the valley and many turned the vehicles away.Sources in the government said that the road leading to border check point with China at Tatopani near Sindhupal Chowk that was devastated in the earthquake is being rebuilt and will not take more than seven days to complete.“It is hardly 114 kilometres from Kathmandu and once ready supplies can reach Kathmandu within 4-6 hours. The other border check point with China, Syapra Besi near Nuakot is also only 132 kilometres away and can be opened up in a few months if needed. China would be more than happy to help us,” said a highly-placed Nepalese government official.India, however, considers this as more of a posturing by Nepal. Senior government sources dealing with the situation said, it is easier said than done as Nepal knows how much it depends on India, and the Chinese will also not be interested. Nepal is using this only as a bargaining chip.“The Madhesis have genuine concerns which have not been met by Nepal’s constitution. Nepal would do well if it calls the Madhesis, listens to them and at least gives them some assurance to end this crisis and blockade,” said a senior official.

Pakistan is waging proxy terror war against India, says Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Lucknow: Home Minister Rajnath Singh blamed Pakistan for waging a proxy terror war against India and regularly violating the ceasefire agreement on Saturday.

He also noted that India’s borders with Pakistan and China are “very sensitive” and said security arrangements have to be ensured keeping the situation in mind.

File photo of Rajnath Singh. AFPFile photo of Rajnath Singh. AFP

File photo of Rajnath Singh. AFP

Speaking on India’s security scenario at a conclave organised by Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd here, he said, “Pakistan has been regularly violating ceasefire agreements, but India has given a befitting reply”.

“Pakistan is also waging a proxy terror war against India,” he said.

The Home Minister said the Modi government went whole hog against the infiltrators as a result of which 130 terrorists were killed while sneaking into Indian territory since 2014, compared to 110 in 2013 and 67 in 2012.

Singh said that since the NDA government came to power in 2014, infiltration cases have dropped to 15 this year from 52 in 2014, 264 in 2012 and 277 in 2013.

The Minister said increasing defence power of India was not going down well with anti-national elements.

On China, he said the border dispute with that country persists and attempts were being made to resolve it.

Singh said though the boundary with Nepal and Bhutan was peaceful and there was no problem, the borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar were “active”.

To a question, he said ISIS will fail to set up any network in India.

Singh also said Left Wing Extremism was a big challenge as 10 states and 125 districts were affected.

The Home Minister said another area of concern was growing cases of cyber crime.

To a query relating to RSS, the senior BJP leader said, “We are and will remain RSS volunteers. The organisation never permits creating differences on the basis of caste and religion.”

On opposition criticism that RSS was indirectly running the government, he said the Sangh never sought a report card from the government on its functioning.

PTI

dna Must Reads for morning: From Modi in US to Hillary Clinton’s new emails

Narendra Modi

1. Modi in US 2015: Islamic State greatest challenge facing international community, says PM ModiPrime Minister Narendra Modi has acknowledged that the dreaded terror group Islamic State poses one of the greatest challenges facing the international community today and said there is a need to “delink terrorism from​ religion”. Read more here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. India, Nepal seek way out as blockade along border adds to troublesAs the models clad in designer Khadi dresses walked past the ramp in plush Soaltee Hotel of Kathmandu on Thursday night, chief guest of the event, Indian Ambassador in Nepal Ranjit Rae kept glued to his phone, intermittently pacing in and out of the venue. Read more here. 3. No water, no power, BMC leaves Muslim areas high and dry on Eid al-AdhaResidents of Ibrahim Rahimtulla Road, Abdul Rehman Street, Mohammed Ali Road, Carnac Bunder and neighbouring areas woke up to a rude shock on the day of Eid al-Adha on Friday; the corporation pipelines were running dry and there was no power either. Efforts by political parties’ local leaders and repeated calls to civic offices fell on deaf ears as the relief eluded citizens till noon. Read more here. 4. Narendra Modi wishes former PM Manmohan Singh on his birthdayPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday wished former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on his 83rd birthday. “I wish Dr. Manmohan Singh on his birthday and pray to almighty that he remains in good health and leads a long life,” tweeted Prime Minister Modi. Former prime minister and economist Dr. Manmohan Singh is celebrating his 83rd birthday on Saturday. Read more here.5. US government finds new emails Hillary Clinton did not hand overThe US Defence Department has found an email chain that Hillary Clinton did not give to the State Department, the State Department said on Friday, despite her saying she had provided all work emails from her time as secretary of state. Read more here.

India, Nepal seek way out as blockade along border adds to troubles

Nepalese people and Madhesi party leaders block a bridge in Birgunj, a town on the border with India, around 300 kilometers (200 miles) east of Kathmandu on Friday

As the models clad in designer Khadi dresses walked past the ramp in plush Soaltee Hotel of Kathmandu on Thursday night, chief guest of the event, Indian Ambassador in Nepal Ranjit Rae kept glued to his phone, intermittently pacing in and out of the venue.The palpable tension was not noticed by most of the audience but for a few from Nepal’s elite political and bureaucratic circles that included Nepali Congress leader Shashanka Koirala.It is about the news of blockade along the India-Nepal border. We have heard that the Indian border guarding force, SSB, in not allowing trucks carrying essential supplies including petrol to ply through check posts because of security concerns inside Nepal. Besides it, the continued misgivings between the two countries that refuse to die down, an official confided.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The tension on the two counts led top leaders of the three major Nepali parties – CPN (UML), Maoists and Nepali Congress – to go in a huddle to thrash out possible solution to the stalemate.Hectic parleys continued on Friday too with Indian ambassador being called in by Nepal’s foreign minister Khaga Raj Adhikari to discuss the current situation at border checkpoints.At the meeting, Rae said India has no intention to block trade ties with Nepal. He also clarified that the obstruction to the Nepal-bound cargo was due the unrest, protests and demonstrations on the Nepali side.The envoy also held separate meetings with top leaders of major political parties of Nepal, including K P Sharma Oli, chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and the country’s former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.However, Nepalese leaders and keen observers refute Indian claims and observation.”Small violence by a miniscule group of people cannot be the reason to block supplies at main transit point of Raxual-Birganj when we have assured their full protection. Moreover, why trucks were not allowed to ply via Sanauli that is not affected by agitation at all? India should not force its own prescribed pill in our throat. This can create problems in future,” said a senior leader of Nepal Congress.The Nepalese leadership, sources said, is thinking to send members from three major parities as team of envoys to India to explain their position.”We want to explain India that what it wants is not possible as the sentiment is not shared by a big population in the Terai region. There are a few splinter groups that are trying to create problem but their voice is not of Madhesis in general,” said a senior leader of Nepal Congress.Nepal is expected to send the team in a day or two to meet, if possible, Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain Nepal’s position that any change in the constitution is not possible right away and Indian genuine Indian concerns can always be addressed through amendments later.Many independent observers in Nepal believe that the tough Indian stand has something to do with Bihar elections where the incumbent BJP government in the Centre has a lot at stake and relaxing its position could mean negative votes in Bihar constituencies bordering Nepal.This was reflected also by Rae who hoped that the tension and violence in the southern plains of Nepal would be resolved ahead of the Bihar assembly polls in India beginning next month.Madhesis spill over on either side of Nepal and Bihar border and are spread over in large numbers in areas like Bettiah, Motihari, Madhubani, Darbhanga and Kishanganj. Any important event or happening on either side affects them directly as a community as they have strong social and economic connections on either side.

Nepal calls in Indian envoy as bilateral unease over new constitution remains

Kathmandu: The simmering unease in the Indo-Nepal ties over Nepal’s new Constitution was underlined on Friday with the government in Kathmandu calling in the Indian envoy to raise the issue of “obstruction” in the supply of essential goods coming in from the Indian side, on a day when India again pressed for addressing of the unrest in this country “credibly and effectively”.

Indian envoy Ranjit Rae was called in by the Acting Nepalese Foreign Minister Khaga Raj Adhikari after hundreds of protesters opposing the new Constitution blocked a key trade checkpoint on the Indo-Nepal border.

According to sources, Rae told the Nepalese leader that the obstruction was due to unrest, protests and demonstrations on the Nepalese side, by sections of their population.

Protests in Nepal. AP

Protests in Nepal. AP

Significantly, earlier in the day, India had asked Nepal to address the underlying causes of the continuing unrest “credibly and effectively”.

Adhikari, who is the Acting Foreign Minister as Mahendra Bahadur Pandey is in the US for the UN General Assembly meeting, called in Rae at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kathmandu and discussed the current situation at the border checkpoints.

Adhikari also sought Indian government’s cooperation in uninterrupted movement of vehicles carrying essential supplies to Nepal, according to a Nepalese Foreign Ministry statement.

While highlighting the significance of excellent relations existing between the two governments and peoples, he stressed on the need to remove the lapses in the supply chain that have surfaced in recent days.

Adhikari assured the Indian envoy that there would not be any security problem inside the Nepalese territory for the transport vehicles since arrangements are already in place for their security.

Earlier this week, the ministry had issued a statement saying Indian freight forwarders and transporters had voiced complaints about the difficulties they are facing in movement within Nepal and their security fears due to the prevailing unrest.

Minister Adhikari also reiterated Nepal’s full commitment for ensuring security of life and property of the Indian nationals in Nepal, according to the ministry.

Ambassador Rae said that he would convey the issues raised by the minister to the Indian government.

The meeting came in the backdrop of reports in the Nepalese media that Indian checkposts at the border had tightened security checking in the wake of the intensified agitation in Nepal’s Terai plains by Madhesi parties.

Rae also called on Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and met CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.

According to reports, the leaders told Rae that the two nations should improve their relations and the problems of Nepal should be dealt by Nepali leaders themselves.

The leaders also drew Rae’s attention to the crisis at the entry points to Nepal from India where Nepal-bound cargo and freight have been left stranded at the Indian side of the border which they alleged was due to clearance not being given by Indian authorities.

Rae stated that the problems were not created due to India. He said the obstruction was caused by the protests in Nepal’s Tarai/Madhes region.

Hundreds of trucks loaded with essential goods, cooking gas cylinders and petroleum products were stalled at the Nepal-India border due to the ongoing agitation.

The protesters belonging to the Joint Madhesi Front were opposing the provision in the new Constitution that divides the country into seven federal provinces.

The agitating Madhesi Front claims that the Constitution does not guarantee enough rights and representation to the Madhesi and Tharu communities residing in southern Nepal.

Madhesis are Indian-origin inhabitants of the Terai plains bordering India.

At least 40 people have died in over a month of clashes between police and protesters from the Madhesi and Tharu communities and ethnic minorities who say the new internal borders leave them under-represented in the country’s Parliament.

The blocked checkpoint in Birgunj which lies 200 km south of the capital, serves as a major transit point between Nepal and India.

Although the shutdown in the region was lifted temporarily on Friday due to the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Azha, the blockade continued at the Nepal-India border check point affecting normal life.

PTI

Nepal protests block India border

Fresh protests over a new constitution break out in southern Nepal, blocking the border with India and shutting off vital supply lines.

Not asked Nepal to carry out amendments in Constitution: India

New Delhi: India on Wednesday reiterated that issues on which there are differences should be resolved through dialogue in Nepal but denied that it has asked Kathmandu to carry out amendments to ensure it was acceptable by Indian-origin community.

“India has not handed over any list of specific Constitutional amendments or changes to the Government of Nepal.

Protests in Nepal. AP

Protests in Nepal. APa

“Without being prescriptive on specific clauses, and as already stated earlier, we continue to urge that issues on which there are differences should be resolved through dialogue in an atmosphere free from violence, and institutionalised in a manner that would enable broad-based ownership and acceptance,” the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.

The remarks came in the backdrop of reports that India has conveyed to Nepal’s leadership to carry out “seven amendments” to its newly promulgated Constitution to ensure it is acceptable to the Madhesis.

Madhesis are Indian-origin people living on the foothills of Nepal’s Terai region.

India has been expressing its concerns over the continued violence in parts of Nepal bordering it.

“We are deeply concerned over the incidents of violence resulting in death and injury in regions of Nepal bordering India following the promulgation of Constitution…

“We had repeatedly cautioned the political leadership of Nepal to take urgent steps to defuse the tension in these regions. This, if done in a timely manner, could have avoided these serious developments,” and hoped that initiatives will be taken by Nepal’s leadership to effectively and credibly address the causes underlying the present state of confrontation,” MEA had said in a statement.

PTI

PM Modi’s foreign trips hardly brings any result: Congress

While the Prime Minister is paying frequent visit to various nations, even countries like Nepal are raising questions about some of India’s actions, Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said.

PM Modi will set off for New York on Wednesday evening to address a UN Sustainable Development Summit and participate in a summit on peacekeeping being hosted by US President Barack Obama.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a seven-day visit to Ireland and the US on Wednesday, Congress took a dig at him asking what gains the country makes from his frequent trips abroad.”The Prime Minister travels to various nations but there is hardly any result from these visits for India,” Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said. Referring to the 3.1 billion dollar deal with US defence major Boeing ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit, Singh said this meant ‘Make in America’ is going to benefit from such trips, and not his much-hyped ‘Make in India’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Prime Minister is paying frequent visit to various nations, even countries like Nepal are raising questions about some of India’s actions, Singh said. The Congress spokesperson also hit back at BJP for taking potshots at party vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his visit to the US.Also read- Rahul Gandhi on ‘forced vacation’ ahead of Bihar polls campaign: BJP”Stop being obsessed with Rahul Gandhi. Instead of targeting the Congress vice-president, BJP should focus on fulfilling the promises made to people,” Singh said.Earlier in the day, BJP leader Sambit Patra said Gandhi’s US trip might be a “forced vacation” as Congress’ allies, JD(U) and RJD, wanted him out of the Bihar poll campaign.

Nepal media hits out at India

Nepal’s media and Twitter users criticise India’s reaction to their new constitution and the violence preceding and following it.

Ajit Doval wades into the frame as India calls its Nepal Envoy for consultations

The high-profile National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has been brought into the frame by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the recently triggered Nepal crisis as India’s worst fears have finally come true in the landlocked Himalayan country forcing India to call its ambassador in Nepal Ranjit Rae to New Delhi for consultations.

China, it transpires, has been behind India’s latest diplomatic embarrassment as Nepali politicians like Khagada Prasad Sharma Oli, better known as KP Oli, have cleverly played the familiar China card against India in the recent promulgation of Nepal’s new constitution.

Protests in Nepal. APProtests in Nepal. AP

Protests in Nepal. AP

With the help of Nepalese leaders like Oli and his comrades China has successfully managed to score a crucial brownie point over India in the constitution episode.

China has made deep forays into the Nepalese political establishment that explains Kathmandu cocking a snook at New Delhi on the sensitive issue of promulgation of Nepal’s secular and democratic constitution.

Oli, the top leader of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified-Marxist – Leninist) , has been in the forefront of Nepalese left-leaning politicians in handing a most severe diplomatic embarrassment to India by promulgating Nepal’s new constitution without addressing Indian concerns.

The government of India has got classified reports from Kathmandu suggesting that Oli has furthered China’s agenda in promulgation of Nepalese constitution which largely keeps the Madhesis under-represented in Nepal’s polity. Since Nepal’s Madhes region borders India the Madhesis are looked upon by China as Indian stooges and therefore their political and demographic rights have been ignored in the Nepalese constitution.

The Madhesis have been demanding their representation in Nepal’s political and parliamentary architecture as per their demographic strength and not on the basis of the area they are populated in. The Madhesis account for over 50 percent of Nepal’s population though area-wise they account for only 20 percent of the total Nepalese landmass.

China looks upon the Madhesis as India’s pocket borough and therefore a threat to its influence in Nepal.

This explains India’s strong reaction on 21 September on Nepal’s political development, the third in as many days. Here is the complete text of the Ministry of External Affairs on Nepal with pithy analysis in parenthesis after each paragraph.

“We are deeply concerned over the incidents of violence resulting in death and injury in regions of Nepal bordering India following the promulgation of Constitution yesterday. Our freight companies and transporters have also voiced complaints about the difficulties they are facing in movement within Nepal and their security concerns, due to the prevailing unrest.”

(Decoder: India is unhappy and in many ways it conveys not just anger but also the state of things which have gone beyond India’s control)

“We had repeatedly cautioned the political leadership of Nepal to take urgent steps to defuse the tension in these regions. This, if done in a timely manner, could have avoided these serious developments.”

(Decoder: Mark the verb “had”. It denotes that more than India it is Nepal’s loss.)

“We have consistently argued that all sections of Nepal must reach a consensus on the political challenges confronting them. The issues facing Nepal are political in nature and cannot be resolved through force. We still hope that initiatives will be taken by Nepal’s leadership to effectively and credibly address the causes underlying the present state of confrontation.”

(Decoder: Key words here are “all sections” and “still hope”, the former implying the Madhesis and the latter showing that all is not lost and India will continue to deal with the challenges in a hands-on fashion.)

The bottom line is this. Now that Oli’s antics have put a spanner in the works of India on the issue of Nepal’s new constitution, the Indian response has gone beyond the MEA’s usual conventional bounds and Oli’s shenanigans are now under a scanner by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

India concern over Nepal violence

India expresses its deep concern over growing violence in Nepal following its adoption of a new federal constitution.

Why India is concerned about Nepal’s constitution

The BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder on why Nepal’s adoption of a new secular constitution is being watched warily across the border by neighbouring India.

Gurgaon rape case: Nepal police arrest two people who allegedly ran trafficking racket

Kathmandu: Nepal police have arrested two persons, including the daughter-in-law of one of the Nepalese maids rescued from a Saudi diplomat’s residence in Gurgaon, who allegedly ran a trafficking racket which sold the women to Indian agents on the pretext of providing them jobs.

IBNLive

IBNLive

The two arrested on Wednesday were identified as Kalpana Pariyar, 33, a resident of Bahuni in Morang district of eastern Nepal, and Jeet Bahadur Darji, 42, who hails from Baglung district in western Nepal, police said on Thursday.

Kalpana and Jeet were involved in selling the former’s mother-in-law and another woman to Indian agents on the pretext of providing them attractive jobs.

The two maids were then supplied to Saudi diplomat Majed Hassan Ashoor, who allegedly kept them in confinement in his apartment in Gurgaon in Haryana where he and his “guests” allegedly raped them.

On 7 September, Gurgaon Police conducted a raid at the diplomat’s residence after receiving a complaint from a non-governmental organisation and rescued the two Nepalese women.

The Saudi Embassy termed the allegations as “false” and protested the police “intrusion” into the diplomat’s house saying it was against “all diplomatic conventions”.

The two maids have now been shifted to a women’s shelter in Nepal.

The Saudi Arabian diplomat, who was charged with confinement and rape of two Nepalese women, last night left India.

The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal has filed a case in this regard in Kathmandu District Court registering a case under Human Trafficking Act.

Further investigation is underway in this matter and the police is searching other people involved in the racket, police said.

PTI

Saudi diplomat row: Accused of raping Nepalese women, Saudi diplomat leaves the country

The Ministry of External Affairs confirmed the development and said that the accused left for his country on Wednesday evening.”We have learnt that the first secretary Majed Hassan Ashoor who was allegedly accused of raping two Nepalese women has left India,” spokesperson in External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swaroop said.

In a development that might leave the BJP government red faced, the Saudi Diplomat, accused of raping and illegally confining two Nepali women at his residence in Gurgaon, left for Riyadh on Wednesday evening. The diplomat became the reason of a major diplomatic row between India, Saudi Arabia and Nepal following allegations of rape surfacing against him. His sudden departure from India means that not only was he not questioned by investigators probing the case. It also means that the MEA will have an uphill battle to pursue the case.The Ministry of External Affairs confirmed the development and said that the accused left for his country on Wednesday evening.”We have learnt that the first secretary Majed Hassan Ashoor who was allegedly accused of raping two Nepalese women has left India,” spokesperson in External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swaroop said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The first secretary being a diplomat is governed by the provision of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations,” Swaroop added.According to officials, employees of the Saudi Embassy are given a 10-day vacation for celebrating Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Zuha. The Saudi embassy will fully be functional after September 26 .The MEA has not yet revealed the further course of action with regards to pursuing the case. The Gurgaon police told dna that they had no information about the departure of the accused diplomat.Furthermore it remains to be seen how the latest development will affect the relationship between Saudi Arabia and India as well as the authorities in Nepal which had launched an elaborate investigation into the matter alongwith its counterparts in India.Last week the three countries got involved in a major diplomatic row when allegations of abuse and sexual slavery surfaced against the diplomat. According to investigations of the Gurgaon police, two Nepali women were being held hostage at the diplomat’s residence where they were being raped by him and his friends. The family of the diplomat had also allegedly played their part in illegally confining the women who also claimed that the diplomat’s wife had tried to physically attack her with a knife.The Saudi government had denied that the maids were confined to the house, stressing that they had had the freedom to move around freely, both with and without the family. They also denied any rape and refused to remove the diplomatic immunity enjoyed by the accused.Foreign Ministries of both the countries had spent almost a week with the situation turning tense after pressure from the public as well as multiple women rights groups. Recently National security advisor Ajit Doval took up the issue amidst speculations that he might be able to solve a major diplomatic confrontation.

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