Amid India and Nepal's tension over Nepal's newly released map, several Nepalese workers on Thursday, protested at Uttarkhand's Banbasa area in Chapawat district. The 500 protestors alleged that Nepal was not allowing them to return home. BJP MP Ajay Bhatt claimed that he had spoken to MoS Nityanand Rai, but Nepal is yet to give permission for their return.
Nepal government has not yet given permission. People are coming here after getting passes by saying they are from this area, even though they are from Nepal. I have spoken to MoS Home Nityanand Rai, will also speak to Home Minister Amit Shah: Ajay Bhatt BJP MP https://t.co/t7aKndPsGb pic.twitter.com/V2gAdwChmP— ANI (@ANI) May 21, 2020
Fuelling to the India-Nepal tensions, Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli blamed India for the spread of the novel Coronavirus in his country, in his speech at the Nepalese Parliament. He said that the virus from India is more 'lethal' than that from China, even though major countries in the world, including the United States, is accusing China of the spread of the deadly COVID - 19. Nepal has announced a lockdown till June 2 with 444 cases and 2 deaths.
In a speech in parliament, Oli said: "Those who are coming from India through illegal channels are spreading the virus in the country and some local representatives and party leaders are responsible for bringing in people from India without proper testing. It has become very difficult to contain COVID-19 due to the flow of people from outside. Indian virus looks more lethal than Chinese and Italian now. More are getting infected."
Even as Nepal's foreign minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said that efforts were on to resolve the border issue with India through diplomatic initiatives, the country issued an official map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura under its territory. Oli reiterated that Nepal will claim Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh, and Kalapanias through 'diplomatic efforts'. In response, the Ministry of External Affairs slammed this "unilateral act", stating that this was contrary to the understanding between the two countries to resolve boundary disputes through dialogue.
India and Nepal are at loggerheads after India issued a new political map incorporating Kalapani and Lipulekh on its side of the border in October last year. The tension further escalated after India inaugurated a road link connecting Kailash Mansarovar, the holy pilgrimage site situated at Tibet, China, that passes through the territory that Nepal claims. The 80-km new road inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh earlier this month is expected to help pilgrims visiting Kailash-Mansarovar in Tibet in China as it is around 90 kms from the Lipulekh pass.