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Nepal hands over diplomatic note to India over border killing

By Ians

Kathmandu, March 10: Nepal on Friday handed over a "diplomatic note" to Indian authorities over alleged killing on Thursday of a Nepali citizen by India's border security guards, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

Nepal hands over diplomatic note to India over border killing

According to the Nepali side, Napal citizen Govinda Gautam died when SSB personnel opened fire at the Nepal-India border on Thursday following a dispute over construction of a culvert in No-man's Land.

Nepal's Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi summoned Deputy Chief of Mission in Indian Embassy Binaya Kumar and handed over the "diplomatic note", stating that the Nepal government condemned the incident and called for a probe, Nepal's Foreign Minister's Office said in a statement.

Nepal also urged India to stop such inimical activities on the border in future.

A diplomatic spat has erupted following the incident, as top political leadership in Nepal and India held several diplomatic parleys on Thursday and Friday after CPN (Maoist Center), the ruling ally, and other political parties held protests against the killing.

Sister organisations of ruling and opposition parties also joined forces for the protest, which saw anger spilling on to streets in various parts of the country.

Similarly, after the meeting between Foreign Secretary Bairagi and Kumar, the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu said that Kumar conveyed his condolences on the loss of life of a Nepali citizen on Thursday.

He informed Bairagi of Inia's decision to initiate an inquiry into the incident at the border touching Lakhimpur Kheri district of India and Kanchanpur districts of Nepal, and requested the Nepalese government to share autopsy and forensic reports to facilitate the inquiry process.

Kumar said that the district authorities should maintain close and regular contacts and ensure peace and order in the area.

Nepal has declared Gautam a "martyr", will provide Rs 1 million as compensation to his family, conduct Gautam's cremation with full state honours, and provide free education to his children, Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi announced.

India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval also called up Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' to express his grief over the death of Gautam.

While extending deep condolences to the family of the deceased, Doval also told Pracahanda that India would support Nepal in every possible way and requested him to provide the post-mortem examination report and other information related to the incident to the Indian side, the Prime Minister's Secretariat said in New Delhi.

During the conversation, Prachanda apprised Doval of the "serious" incident and told him about the "seriousness" and "sensitivity" of the incident for Nepal while assuring full support for inquiry.

Prachanda hoped that India would take stern action against the guilty after the probe, the statement said.

The firing on Nepal-India border has further spiked political and diplomatic tension in Kathmandu as lawmakers from various political parties sought answer from the government over the incident.

While accepting a memorandum on Friday from his own party leaders regarding the Kanchanpur incident, Prachanda said that any kind of interference into national sovereignty was not acceptable.

On Friday morning, Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat made a telephone call to India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and sought the Indian position over the killing as India denied that its security force opened the fire.

Mahat requested Swaraj to initiate a probe into the killing and ensure that such incident does not recur in the future, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.



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