Rescue, medical and military teams from the Indian government involved in rescue operation and distributing relief to the victims in earthquake-ravaged Nepal have courted controversy as they were found to have carried out activities even without coordinating the Nepal’s government agencies.
The Indian military personnel are frequently flying with the choppers—mainly to northern areas such as Barpak Village of Gorkha District—the epicenter of Saturday’s 7.6 magnitude earthquake—which is close to Nepal’s northern frontier to China.
A leading daily newspaper in Nepal Kantipur reported on Friday the Indian military personnel are also making frequent flights to Langtang of Rasuwa, Lukla of Solukhumbu—which are bordering districts to China.
Nepali Army officials involved in the rescue operation are miffed with the behavior of the Indian military and rescue teams, the newspaper reported. According to the newspaper, the Indian military teams are keeping vigil on the Nepal-China border.
“We are not aware of frequent flights of the Indian military to the bordering areas with China. It is still unclear whether they are conducting medical camps or doing anything else in the name of rescue operation keeping us in the dark,” a source at the Nepal Army Headquarters told Nepal Foreign Affairs.
The source added the Indian military team was found to have focused its mission toward the Himalayas instead of supporting the earthquake-hit people and carry out the rescue operation.
Setting up a medical camp in Barkpak, the Indian military personnel are involved in medical treatment and they are airlifting the injured to Pokhara, the Indian embassy in Kathmandu said in its statement on Thursday afternoon.
According to the statement three Indian Army Medical teams have been deployed at Barpak Village. It said a 39-member Indian Army team was staying at the Everest Base Camp to assist local people including stranded tourists and climbers.
“We are not aware when the Indian Army personnel left for the Everest Base Camp,” the source at the Army Headquarters added.
A delegation of the Indian government led by Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishanker and National Security Advisor Ajit Kumar Doval, who landed in the Nepali Capital on Friday morning, visited the earthquake-hit Barpak Village on Friday itself.
The Indian rescue teams and aircrafts are being more focused on rescuing the Indian nationals stranded in Nepal instead of joining hands with the Nepali officials at such a great tragedy, the newspaper said in its report.
A Chinese aircraft dispatched by the People’s Liberation Army with humanitarian support and relief materials was not granted permission to land at the Tribhuwan International Airport by the Nepali authorities citing technical reasons. According to officials at the Nepal’s International Airport, the Chinese Aircraft was not given permission to land at the airport owing to pressure from the Indian government.
“As the Chinese side wanted to launch rescue operation in bordering areas such as Rasuwagadi of Rasuwa District, the Indian side expressed uneasiness,” the newspaper quoted citing its sources at the Army headquarters.
Earlier, the Nepal government remained ‘silent’ over China’s proposal to send Chinese helicopters and rescue teams in the earthquake-hit areas beyond the Kathmandu Valley.
“Now the China government can dispatch helicopters and choppers for us,” Surya Prasad Silwal, Secretary of the Nepal’s Home Ministry told another leading newspaper Annapurna Post Daily on Thursday.
China has already decided to provide 20 million RMB in the first batch and 40 million in humanitarian aid as part of its emergency support to the Nepal government and the people.