Kalapani integral part of India, says Uttarakhand CM after Nepal stakes claim to region
The region holds strategic importance for India as it is located just 18 km from Lipulekh pass. It is also the transition route for the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra. Both the ITBP and SSB have posts here.
DEHRADUN: After the Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli expressed his displeasure over the Kalapani area being shown as a part of India, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat said it has been an integral part of the country and will continue to remain so.
Commenting on the issue, Rawat said, "This is an unfortunate statement by the Nepal government and does not match with their usual behaviour and culture. I hope the matter will be resolved through talks."
The Nepalese PM Oli on Monday had said that the Kalapani area belongs to Nepal. He further added that India should remove its military presence from the area and Nepal would not allow even an 'inch' to be encroached upon.
Kalapani is a 35 square kilometre area in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand bordering both Nepal and China. It derives its name from the Kali river which originates from here.
The region holds strategic importance for India as it is located just 18 km from Lipulekh pass. It is also the transition route for the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra. Both the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Sashastra Seema Bal have posts in the area.
These posts were created after the 1962 war with China. Armed personnel of India and China patrol the border in the area with their gun barrels hanging down towards the ground as a gesture of peace.
Shekhar Pathak, historian and Padma Shri winner, said, "The region was deemed part of India in the 'Sugauli Agreement' of 1816 between the Gurkhas and British. The issue has been kept alive by communist parties in Nepal."
Nepal also claims that it conducted a census in the area in 1961 and the Indian side did not object to it.