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Tension along India-Nepal border in Uttarakhand ends, vehicles start plying

Following a two-day bandh called by a faction of the Nepal Maoists in a number of anchals (zones) in south-central Nepal bordering India on March 9 and 10, demanding pension and martyr status for Maoists cadres who were killed during the two-decade long insurgency in the Himalayan country, tension prevailed along the international border.

dehradun Updated: Mar 11, 2018 21:32 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times, Haldwani
Following a SSB drive to demolish makeshift shops erected by Nepali nationals on the no-man’s land at Brahmdev in Uttarakhand’s Tanakpur, tensions had flared up the India-Nepal border.(HT Photo. )

Tension along the India-Nepal border in Tanakpur and Banbasa in Uttarakhand’s Champawat, eased on Sunday, after the district administration put into place a number of safety measures, officials said.

Following a two-day bandh called by a faction of the Nepal Maoists in a number of anchals (zones) in south-central Nepal bordering India on March 9 and 10, demanding pension and martyr status for Maoists cadres who were killed during the two-decade long insurgency in the Himalayan country, tension prevailed along the international border.

During the strike, the Maoists fanned anti-India sentiments condemning the “big brother” attitude of India, following which the district administration stopped vehicles from entering Nepal on March 9, as a precautionary measure, officials said.

Vehicles have started plying across the international border on Saturday after the leader of the Maoist faction that called the bandh was arrested in Kathmandu, some of them said.

Tension along the India-Nepal border has been diffused and vehicles were plying normally between the two neighbouring countries, said Champwat superintendent of police Ramchandra Rajguru.

“Though the Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) patrols the border, we are also keeping vigil so that Nepal Maoists are not able to create tension along the border and fan anti-India sentiments,” he said.

Earlier, the SSB conducted a drive to remove encroachments from the no-man’s land that demarcates the international border at Tanakpur and demolished makeshift shops erected by Nepali shopkeepers and traders during the two-month long Purnnagiri Mela that began earlier this month.

The action by the Indian authorities led to tension along the border as hundreds of Nepali nationals demonstrated against the Indian government’s move, saying that they will not allow Indians to enter the Nepal side as their business was hit, Rajguru said.

“The situation is now normal after talks between the traders and the Champwat administration,” he said.

In March 2017, the SSB opened fire, killing one person on the India-Nepal border near Lakhimpur Kheeri in Uttar Pradesh when a number of Nepali nationals were making a culvert on the no-man’s land, said Dharmendra Chand, a social activist from Tanakpur .

The incident led to tension along the Tanakpur- Banbasa international border and half a dozen motorcycles, bearing Indian number plates, were set ablaze in bordering Mahendra Nagar in Nepal, in retaliation, he said.

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 21:32 IST