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India, Nepal agree to maintain status quo at No Man's Land near Uttarakhand border

Nepalese residents also reportedly built around 23 wooden and concrete structures in 'No Man's Land on Indian side last week which became a thorny issue between India and Nepal.

Published: 05th August 2020 08:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th August 2020 08:25 PM   |  A+A-

A market in Banbasa town in Uttarakhand-Nepal border (Photo | en.wikipedia.org/cliftonshipway)

By Express News Service

DEHRADUN: Officials from India and Nepal held an informal meeting on Tuesday and agreed to 'maintain status quo' at the 'No Man's Land' along the border in Champawat district of Uttarakhand.

From the Indian side, Champawat district magistrate, superintendent of police, and commandant of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) attended the meeting.

SN Pandey, district magistrate of Champawat district said, "We shared our concerns with each other and agreed upon moving forward to identify the exact location of (border) pillar number 811 so that the issue can be solved permanently. Till then there will be no activity from both the sides as it could worsen the relations."

Pandey further said that officials from both the sides have agreed to conduct independent and joint surveys to identify the pillar for once and all.

Both the sides agreed for the next round of talks but the date has yet to be decided.

The Nepalese team comprised of Kanchanpur chief district officer (equivalent to DM in India), police chief and SP of Armed Police Force (SSB’s counterpart).

On July 22, people in Nepal had erected pillars for fencing the No Man’s Land.

Nepalese residents also reportedly built around 23 wooden and concrete structures in 'No Man's Land on Indian side last week which became a thorny issue between India and Nepal.

The Nepalese people are claiming that the land is theirs while India says the said land spanning about 150 square meters is 'No Man's Land'.

According to the Indian officials, Nepalese nationals had encroached upon area near Pillar 811 and Tanakpur barrage in Champawat district claiming to be theirs.

Meanwhile, Nepalese authorities wrote to their Indian counterparts not to stop Nepalese people's movement to Limipiyadhura, Kalapani, and Lipulekh areas saying that they belong to the Himalayan nation.

The letter, dated July 28, 2020, addressed to the sub-divisional magistrate of Dharchula in Pithoragarh district, mentioned Sugauli Treaty between Nepal and British East India Company in 1815 saying that the movement of the Nepalese people in these areas are natural and Indian authorities should not obstruct them.

The letter was written in response to a letter by Indian authorities dated July 14, 2020, asserting that according to the treaty, areas which are east to Kali (Mahakali) river such as Limpiyadhura, Kalapani, Lipulekh, Gunji, Nabi and Kuti are Nepal’s.

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