India objects to omnidirectional CCTV cameras set up by Nepal at Uttarakhand border

Updated on Aug 07, 2020 07:40 AM IST

Indian officials have asked their counterparts in Nepal to replace them with uni-directional CCTV cameras. The issue was raised by Indian officials during an informal border meeting between the two sides on Tuesday near Tanakpur border town of Champawat district.

Entry point of Tanakpur barrage closed in view of sealing of Indo-Nepal border in Uttarakhand’s Champawat district.(HT File Photo)
Entry point of Tanakpur barrage closed in view of sealing of Indo-Nepal border in Uttarakhand’s Champawat district.(HT File Photo)
Hindustan Times, Dehradun | ByKalyan Das | Edited by Meenakshi Ray

India has raised an objection against the installation of omni-directional CCTV cameras by Nepal near the disputed land at the border in Uttarakhand’s Champawat district, officials said on Thursday.

This comes amid the ongoing border row between the two countries over erecting fencing pillars in no man’s land at the India-Nepal border in Champawat.

Indian officials have asked their counterparts in Nepal to replace them with uni-directional CCTV cameras. The issue was raised by Indian officials during an informal border meeting between the two sides on Tuesday near Tanakpur border town of Champawat district.

Several issues were raised during the meeting for discussion by India side including a request to instal omni-directional closed-circuit television cameras by Nepalese authorities near the no man’s land.

“The Nepalese side had installed the CCTV cameras a few days ago at the border. When the meeting was held, the SSB [Sashastra Seema Bal] from our side raised the issue before Nepal as being omnidirectional CCTV cameras, there was an obvious risk that they might monitor activities of our security agencies also,” Surendra Narayan Pandey, Champawat’s district magistrate who attended the meet, said.

“The Nepalese authorities reasoned that they are to keep an eye on activities on their side of the border on which we asked them to then replace them with uni-directional CCTV cameras away from the Indian side of the border. To that, they said that they will consider the request,” said Pandey.

Meanwhile, an SSB official privy to the issues raised by them before Nepalese authorities in the meeting said, “We had raised the issue of omnidirectional CCTVs as it is a very important one from a security point of view.”

“Not only this, we also raised objection against the Nepalese people stopping our men from patrolling near the disputed area of the border in our side as well the encroachment done by them on it,” said the official.

RK Tripathi, SSB Commandant near the Indo-Nepal border affirmed the development. “We raised several issues in the meeting but didn’t get any assurance from their side. They just said that they will try to solve them by dialogues,” Tripathi said.

The informal meeting was attended by Champawat’s district magistrate and superintendent of police (SP) and SSB’s commandant. From the Nepalese, the chief district officer (the equivalent of a DM) and SP of Kanchanpur district adjoining the border in Nepal and SP of the Armed Police Force (SSB’s counterpart).

The border row had erupted between the two sides after some Nepalese nationals erected fencing pillars in the no man’s land near the border on July 22. Following the development, India’s border patrolling agency SSB held a meeting with Nepal’s APF on the issue on July 23 in which the latter assured of removing it but since then no action has been taken by them in this regard.

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