Nepal redraws map, President signs Bill

Includes three Indian territories, move could hit ties between neighbours

Nepal redraws map, President signs Bill

The bill was passed with all the 57 members present voting in its favour. File photo

Kathmandu, June 18

Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Thursday signed a Constitution amendment Bill to update the country’s new political map which incorporated three strategically important Indian areas, hours after Parliament approved it, a move that could severely hit bilateral ties with New Delhi.

India has already termed as “untenable” the “artificial enlargement” of the territorial claims by Nepal after its Lower House of Parliament on Saturday unanimously approved the new political map of the country featuring Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura areas which India maintains belong to it.

Nepal had last month released the revised political and administrative map of the country laying claim over the strategically important areas, more than six months after India published a new map in November 2019.

Earlier in the day, the National Assembly (Upper House) of the Nepalese Parliament, unanimously passed the Bill providing for the inclusion of the country’s new political map in its national emblem. All 57 members, who were present on the occasion, voted in favour of the amendment Bill, said National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Timilsina. The Cabinet had endorsed the new political map on May 18. Anurag Srivastava, the MEA spokesperson in New Delhi, replying to queries, said: “This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable. It is also violative of our current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues.” — PTI

KATHMANDU UPGRADES CHANGRU OUTPOST

  • Nepal has upgraded its border outpost at Changru, near Kalapani, and converted it into a permanent one to be manned by armed police personnel
  • Earlier, it was manned by baton-wielding policemen and used to remain closed from November to March every year
  • The upgraded post was inspected by Nepalese army chief Purna Chandra Thapa on Wednesday

THE TRIGGER

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting Lipulekh Pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8
  • Nepal reacted sharply, claiming it passed through Nepalese territory; India rejected the claim asserting that the road was ‘completely’ within its territory
  • Nepalese PM Oli vowed to reclaim Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura, saying these belonged to Nepal

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