In an unprecedented move, India has hit out at Nepal at a UN body for human rights violations and ethnic discrimination, and reiterated its message that Nepal should consolidate its constitution by accommodating all sections of society.
Nepal, represented by its deputy Prime Minister and foreign minister Kamal Thapa, raised the issue of obstruction of supplies from across the border.
India made its case at the universal periodic review at the human rights council in Geneva, which is reviewing Nepal’s record. It noted the ‘violence and instability’ in parts of Nepal. “Over 45 persons died, mostly civilians, and hundreds injured. Firings, which had ceased just after the adoption of the Constitution, have reoccurred.”
India’s representative 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 urged Nepal to ‘investigate and take credible measures to prevent their recurrence’. It added, “Problems facing Nepal are political in nature and cannot be resolved through force or a security-based approach.”
Given the sensitivities of Nepal’s peace process, India had not spoken of war-time atrocities. But in a first, it has recommended to Nepal ‘to ensure the effective functioning of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and full implementation of its recommendations, including prosecution of those responsible for violent insurgency’.
This is a direct message to the Nepali Maoists that Delhi will not shield its crimes during the past.
Delhi has been traditionally cautious about using international human rights platforms — its position marks a clear willingness to generate pressure on the Nepal government through all means to sort out its internal crisis.