India has blamed certain sections in Nepal of trying to divert attention from the ongoing protests in Terai against the new constitution by dragging New Delhi into the picture.
“Certain groups and associations are trying to take advantage of the situation and fanning anti-India sentiments. It is not going to resolve the issue at hand,” Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said on Wednesday.
He reiterated the present crisis is an internal political issue of Nepal and should be resolved through dialogue and negotiations between the government and the protesting parties.
Blockade of highways and targeting of custom points in the border areas by Madhesis and Tharus since last week has affected entry of goods into Nepal creating a severe crisis of essential goods, mainly petroleum products.
Despite India’s repeated assertions denying any restrictions on entry of goods into Nepal, many in the Himalayan nation feel New Delhi has launched an ‘undeclared embargo’ as it is unhappy with the new constitution.
Accusing India of supporting the Madhesis, some groups have started demonstrations in Kathmandu and other places by burning the Indian tricolor and effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Whipping up of anti-India sentiment, burning of effigies and the Indian flag is not a good sign. Instead there should be focus towards restoration of peace and normalcy,” Rae said.
Informing that movement of vehicles is taking place at border points which are not affected by protests, he expressed happiness at the steps taken by the government and protesting parties to initiate talks.
New Delhi has maintained Indian truckers are unwilling to enter Nepal due to security threat because of the protests. Once protests are called off and formal talks begin, normal supply of goods to Nepal is expected to resume.