India on Wednesday made it clear that it was not supporting protests by Madhesis in Nepal and expressed concern over spreading of anti-India sentiments in the country. India also stressed that it had not imposed any blockade at the border, stalling supply of essential goods to Nepal.
India’s position was stated by Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae here in his meeting with former prime minister and senior CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. “The Ambassador expressed concern over the spreading of anti-India sentiments in Nepal,” the Nepalese leader’s personal aide Mohan Gautam said.
“He said that India was not involved in the blockade and refuted claims that the southern neighbour was supporting Madhes-based parties in their protests,” Gautam said of the meeting between the two at Madhav Kumar Nepal’s residence. The Nepalese leader, on his part, asked the Indian envoy to ease supplies to Nepal from India.
Meanwhile, two human rights organisations — Informal Service Sector Centre (INSEC) and Democratic Freedom and Human Rights Institute (DFHRI) — registered a complaint with the United Nations Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measure. In their complaint, they alleged that India had imposed a unilateral coercive blockade following the promulgation of Nepal’s new Constitution.
“India’s action violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, Provisions of World Trade Organisation, Nepal-India Transit Treaty and Agreement on South Asia Free Trade Area Agreement (SAFTA),” they claimed. Madhesis, Indian-origin inhabitants of Nepal’s Terai region, are protesting division of their ancestral homeland in the new Constitution. The agitation close to the main trading point near Raxaul has halted supply of essential goods, causing acute shortage of fuel in Nepal.
Over 40 people have died in the violent agitation that has also overwhelmed Indo-Nepal ties as transit of goods and fuel to the Himalayan nation from India via the major border trading points has been badly affected.