India has welcomed the process started by the three major parties in Nepal to hold talks with Madhesi and Tharu parties protesting against the country’s new constitution.
“We welcome the recent steps that have been taken to begin a dialogue, because that is the only way (to find a solution),” Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae told at a programme held in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
India has been insisting that protests against demarcation of states in the statute by Madhesis and Tharus in Nepal’s southern plains bordering India is a political problem and needs to be resolved through dialogue.
Forty four people have been killed in the protests which have continued for over a month now.
On Monday, the Nepal government formed a three-member committee to hold talks with protesting parties. They held parleys with leaders of two Madhesi parties to create an atmosphere for more broad-based talks.
With the protesting parties intensifying demonstrations on highways and customs points located in the Indo-Nepal border, the Himalayan nation is facing a severe shortage of fuel and other essential goods.
The government has started rationing of petroleum products and New Delhi is being blamed by many in Kathmandu for stopping supply of goods into Nepal and supporting Madhesi parties.
India has denied any blockade of goods into Nepal and insisted that supply is affected due to violent protests in Nepal and reluctance of Indian transporters to take the risk of bringing their vehicles across the border.
“If there was a blockade you would not have so many trucks lined up in the Indian side of the border at many places. If there was a blockade why would we allow trucks to line up at the border?” questioned Rae.
He mentioned that New Delhi’s only objective is to see peace, stability and development in Nepal and said India doesn’t support any particular group or section in the country.
Nepal’s ambassador to India, Deep Upadhyay said that the problems within Nepal are the country’s own and instead of blaming New Delhi there is need to find a solution to the Madhesi and Tharus grievances through talks.
Transmission of Indian TV channels stopped in Nepal
Transmission of Indian news and entertainment channels has been stopped in across Nepal from Tuesday as a mark of protest against so-called ‘economic blockade’ by India which has affected supply of goods and fuel.
“In view of suggestions made large number of public, we have decided to stop broadcasting Indian channels for an indefinite period,” said Sushil Parajuli president of Nepal Cable Television Association.
The move comes in the wake of a threat made by a minor Maoist faction to ban Indian films, TV channels and Indian vehicles in Nepal because of India’s ‘unofficial embargo’ on entry of goods.