Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae on Tuesday met Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam and told him that India or its citizens were not involved in protests or riots that have erupted across the Himalayan nation over the proposed six-province model of the proposed constitution for the country.
Nepal’s southern plains have been witnessing deadly clashes and riots for nearly two weeks, and curfew has been imposed in several districts where at least 18 protestors have died.
In his address to parliament after a deadly clash on Monday led to the death of at least 20 people, including 17 security personnel, Gautam indicated that some unwanted elements entered the country through the southern border and made the situation worse.
Rae met Gautam at the minister’s office on Tuesday.
After the meeting, the Indian embassy said its attention was drawn to the statement by Gautam regarding the sequence of events leading to violence in many parts of Nepal on Monday.
Gautam said he had heard that “a large number of intruders from the south” had entered Gaur and Rautahat regions of Nepal, the embassy said.
The Indian ambassador conveyed the embassy’s concerns about the statement and similar unsubstantiated statements that could cause misunderstanding and distort perceptions about the cordial and friendly relations between the two countries, said a statement from the embassy.
“The embassy wishes to clarify that it has not been contacted by the Nepalese authorities about any unusual movement of people across the border in recent days,” it said.
It said the Indian border authorities “keep in constant touch” with their Nepali counterparts and continue to monitor the situation.
In a statement after the meeting, Nepal’s home ministry said Gautam drew the attention of the Indian ambassador “to ensure that the Nepal-India border is not misused by infiltrators to affect demonstrations” in the country.
In the meeting, Gautam “pointed to the need for both Nepal and India to be alert as some unscrupulous people could take undue advantage of the open border to infiltrate into demonstrations being staged in different parts of the Terai region”.
It said that in the meeting, Rae said India “was deeply shocked” by the violent protests and said the country will not allow misuse of the border for infiltration into Nepal.