LUCKNOW: After the Nepali Parliament passed a new map of the country showing areas of Indian territory as its own, Nepali citizens have started occupying areas on no man’s land along the border in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Terai region in UP.
The sources added that the commandant of the 39th Battalion of Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) had written a letter to Kheri District Magistrate Shailendra Kumar Singh in this regard early this month. SSB is deployed at the Indo-Nepal border across eight districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Though India has rejected Nepal’s new map calling it a "unilateral act" that is not based on historical facts or evidence, the passage of new map by Nepal Parliament signals the hardening of Nepal's position over a decades-long border row that has strained ties between the two neighbours.
Not only have the Nepalis made intrusions in Kheri, but their forces too have set up five new border out posts (BOPs) in Kailali area on their side of the border with India.
UP shares a 105 km long border with Nepal in Kheri district besides other six districts including Pilibhit, Shravasti, Bahriach, Balrampur, Siddhrthnagar and Maharajganj.
To man its borders in Kheri, the Nepal Armed Police (NAP) already had four BOPs. The new BOPS have come up Bangarkatan, Jugera, Khinpur, Hikmatpur, and Srilanka Tapu on Nepal side.
The tension escalated after India inaugurated an 80-km road connecting Uttarakhand with Lipulekh on the border with Tibet that passes through the land that Nepal claims belongs to it. The map, say the sources, shows a sliver of land on the northwest tip of Nepal as the Nepali territory.
However, getting emboldened by the passage of a new map by the Nepal Parliament, its citizens have increased pressure on border areas in UP. Kheri DM has forwarded the letter of SSB commandant to Additional Chief Secretary, Home, UP government and also the Centre, said the sources.
Moreover, Kheri DM Shailendra Singh had also got in touch with the authorities in bordering Nepal districts of Kanchanpur and Kailali to conduct a joint operation and get no man’s land vacated by the intruders, said the sources.
The sources added that the SSB commandant had mentioned in his correspondence to Kheri DM that the intrusion by Nepali citizens in the land around pillar number 742 in Suda village under Palia Kalan municipal limits and pillar number 766 in Mirchia village under Sampurnanagar municipal limits in Kheri may complicate the situation on the border.
Significantly, the area of current dispute in Kheri has never been measured jointly by the two nations earlier. As per the sources, around 25-30 per cent of pillars were demolished in the area by Nepali citizens for doing farming in the area.