Kathmandu: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala today requested India not to delay the opening of the trading points to ease the supply of essential goods into Nepal, amid road blockade on the border by Madhesi protesters over the country’s new Constitution.
“I hereby request government of India to ensure Nepal’s transit rights are not affected by any delay at the border checking points,” Koirala said, a day after India emphasised that it can only take goods up to the border and beyond that it is the responsibility of the Nepalese side to ensure adequate safety and security for the trucks.
The agitating Madhesi groups have imposed a blockade and stalled supply of essential goods from India to Nepal via road, causing shortage of essential goods in the country.
India has rejected as “totally false” allegations that it blockaded the key trade checkpoint on the border with Nepal. The Nepal government has formed a team headed by forest minister Mahesh Acharya and informal talks have already started with the agitating groups. Madhesis are Indian-origin inhabitants of the Terai region bordering India who are opposed to splitting Nepal into seven provinces. The agitating Madhesi Front claims that the Constitution does not guarantee enough rights and representation to the Madhesi and Tharu communities residing in southern Nepal.
At least 40 people have died in over a month of clashes between police and protesters from the Madhesi and Tharu communities and ethnic minorities. KP Oli, who is tipped to be the next prime minister, yesterday said: “India should not impose undeclared blockade in the name of dissatisfaction expressed by a few political parties and some political leaders (on the new Constitution). India has rejected as “totally false” allegations that it blockaded a key trade checkpoint on the border with Nepal.