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India-Nepal Dispute

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The revised political map of Nepal which includes the disputed areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura with the disputed border with India has been passed on June 9.
India-Nepal Border Dispute

What is the issue?

There are few territorial disputes of India-Nepal which include some regions which Indian government claims as a neighborhood of Uttarakhand, which is – the Kalapani territory, lipulekh pass, tinker pass.

According to Nepal, the west of the Kala Pani river is that the border but consistent with the Indian government that area may be a part of India. 

Now India has been performing on building a route through Kailash Mansarovar to ease the journey of the people visiting there. India says that the new road to lipulekh falls is their territory whereas Nepal claims it theirs.

What is the Kalapani dispute?

The dispute is especially due to the varying interpretation of the origin of the river and its various tributaries that slice into the mountains. While Nepal’s claim of the territory east of Kali is predicated on the Limpiyadhura origin, India says the river actually takes the name Kali near Kalapani.

The 35 km² of the world between the Lipu Gad/Kalapani River and therefore the watershed of the river is that the disputed Kalapani territory. Despite several rounds of negotiations from 1998 to this, the difficulty remains unresolved. In May 2020, India inaugurated a replacement link road to the Kailas-Manasarovar.

The Kali river, the source of which has fed into disputes between India and Nepal
The Kali Ganga river springs from a source below the temple which has fed into disputes between India and Nepal

Scholar Leo Rose states that Nepal virtually ignored the Kalapani issue from 1961 to 1997. In 1998, it became “convenient” to Nepal to boost controversy about it for domestic political reasons. Nepal laid claim to all or any the areas east of the Lipu Gad/Kalapani River. The Nepalese contention was that the Lipu Gad was actually the Kali River up to its source.

They wanted the western border shifted 5.5 km westwards so on include the Lipulekh Pass. Indian officials responded that the executive records dating back to the 1830s show that the Kalapani area had been administered as a neighborhood of the Pithoragarh district (then a part of the Almora district). India also denied the Nepalese contention that Lipu Gad was the Kali River. within the Indian view, the Kali River begins only after Lipu Gad is joined by other streams arising from the Kalapani springs. Therefore, the Indian border leaves the midstream of river near Kalapani and follows the high watershed of the streams that join it

History of India-Nepal Dispute

This all starts from the day when Britisher’s wont to rule over India i.e. India wont to be “BRITISH INDIA”. 

Following the Unification of Nepal under Prithvi Narayan Shah, Nepal attempted to enlarge its domains, conquering much of Sikkim within the east and, within the west, the basins of Gandaki and Karnali and therefore the Uttarakhand regions of Garhwal and Kumaon. This brought them in conflict with the British , who controlled directly or indirectly the north Indian plains between Delhi and Calcutta. A series of campaigns termed the Anglo-Nepalese War occurred in 1814-1816. In 1815 British general Ochterlony evicted the Nepalese from Garhwal and Kumaon across the Kali River, ending the 25-year rule of the region by Nepal.

Octherlony offered peace terms to the Nepalese demanding British oversight through a Resident and therefore the delimitation of Nepal’s territories corresponding roughly to its present-day boundaries within the east and west. The Nepalese refusal to accede to those terms led to a different campaign the subsequent year, targeting the Kathmandu Valley, after which the Nepalese capitulated.

The resulting agreement, the Sugauli Treaty, states in its Article 5:

The Sugauli Treaty
The Sugauli Treaty

The king of Nepal renounces for himself, his heirs, and successors, all claims to and connexion with the countries lying to the West of the River Kali, and engages never to possess any concern with those countries or the inhabitants.

Even though the Article was meant to line Kali River because of the boundary of Nepal, initially British administrators retained control of the whole Byans region both to the east and west of the Kali/Kalapani river, stating that it had been traditionally a part of Kumaon. In 1817, the Nepalese made a representation to the British , claiming that they were entitled to the areas to the east of Kali. After consideration, the British governor-general in the council accepted the demand. The Byans region to the east of Kali was transferred to Nepal, dividing the Byans pargana across the 2 countries.

Sometime around 1865, the British shifted the border near Kalapani to the watershed of the Kalapani river rather than the river itself, thereby claiming the world now called the Kalapani territory. this is often according to the British position that the Kali River begins only from the Kalapani springs, which meant that the agreement of Sugauli didn’t apply to the region above the springs.

In 1923, Nepal received recognition from the British as a totally independent state.] In 1947, India acquired independence from its rule and have become a republic. Nepal and India entered into a Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1950, which had a robust element of the mutual security alliance, mirroring the sooner treaties with British India. 

No changes in India’s border with Nepal are discernible from the maps of the amount. The Kalapani territory continued to be shown as a part of India. Following the Chinese take-over of Tibet in 1951, India increased its security presence along the northern border to inhibit possibilities of encroachment and infiltration. The Kalapani area is probably going to possess been included among such areas. Nepal too requested India’s help in policing its northern border as early as 1950, and 17 posts are said to possess been established jointly by the 2 countries.

Why did India build this road through territory claimed by Nepal?

India has been ineffective possession of this territory for a minimum of sixty years, although Nepal claims it conducted a census there within the early 1950s and refers to the 1815 Sugauli Treaty as legitimizing its claims. But India’s new road, up to the Lipulekh pass, isn’t an unprecedented change within the established order. India has controlled this territory and built other infrastructure here before, besides conducting its administration and deploying military forces up to the border pass with China.

The region is of strategic importance, and therefore the new road is now one among the quickest links between Delhi and the Tibetan plateau. during a 2015 statement, China also recognized India’s sovereignty by agreeing to expand trade through the Lipulekh pass. Finally, this is often also a crucial route for thousands of Hindus who trek across the border with China per annum to go to the sacred Mount Kailash. Given recurrent military tensions with China, the longer-term potential of trade, and therefore the religious symbolism of the region, India will definitely still exercise civilian and occupation.

Nepal’s Revised Map

The revised political map of Nepal which includes the disputed areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura with the disputed border with India has been passed. On June 9, the Parliament with the agreement of all people involved, endorsed a proposal to consider the Constitution amendment bill to pave way for endorsing the new political map amid the border row with India. A two-thirds majority was required in the 275-member House of Representatives or the lower house to pass the bill.

India-Nepal Dispute,  Nepal's Revised Map
Nepal’s Revised Map

In a special session held on June 13 2020, Nepal’s Parliament passed a Constitution amendment bill, revising the country’s political map to include the disputed areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura.

The lower house of the Parliament voted in favor of the amendment, everyone was in the favor including the opposition. There are many protests running in Nepal against this revised map by the people of Nepal nation, wherein it lays claim over these key areas of strategic importance along the border with India.

To know more about Nepal read this editorial on this portal : https://thegazettetoday.com/world/nepal-a-happy-place/

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