Indo-Nepal joint efforts to control naxalite insurgency in Bihar

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Patna, May 1 (UNI) The proposed coalition government in Nepal has assured to ''fully cooperate'' with the Bihar government for controlling the Naxalite menace in the border state.

This assurance was given to Bihar Chief minister Nitish Kumar by senior Nepali Congress leader and MP Pradip Giri during their meeting here last night.

Speaking to newspersons after the half an hour long ''courtesy call'', the newly elected MP in Nepal said his party was fully aware of the challenges posed before the Bihar government by various extremist groups like the Naxalites and Maoists in the wake of their growing militant activities in different bordering districts.

This had led to huge law and order problems not only in Bihar but also in Nepal as the extremists tended to seek refuge in the Himalayan nation after major operations, Mr Giri said and promised that the new seven-member coalition government in Nepal, after assuming office, would fully cooperate with the state government in rooting out the menace.

He, however, ruled out the possibility of fencing the international border as a preventive measure.

''On the contrary we have suggested to step up vigil all along the border with increased manpower on both sides to prevent cross border militancy,'' Mr Giri said.

To a query, he replied that he strongly favoured the continuation of open border traffic between the two countries through various check points in Bihar.

Asked to comment on Nepali Maoist leader Prachanda's demand for re-consideration of the '1950 Indo-Nepal Peace Treaty', the Nepali Congress leader, despite being a member of the seven party coalition, refused to comment.

''It is upto the governments of both the countries to decide on the issue for the sake of close, cordial and friendly bilateral relations,'' he said.

Earlier, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar drew the attention of the Nepali leader towards the recurring problem of devastating floods in North Bihar every year following release of huge amount of water from the upper regions of Nepal and sought a permanent solution to the catastrophe.

''We have also discussed the issue at length and stressed the need for construction of dams and embankments on both sides of the border to arrive at a permanent solution to the issue,'' Mr Giri pointed out.

Incidentally, Mr Giri came to Patna as part of a 54-member delegation from Nepal which participated in a two-day international seminar on 'Emerging Trends of Indo-Nepal Relations' earlier this week.

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