Nepal Foreign Affairs (November 26) – Learning from these incidents, Government of Nepal must bolster its border security in the south. It must double the number of Armed Police Force within the next six months along Nepal-India border; equip them with modern technology so that a security as well as diplomatic response can be given right away. It must also strengthen its information mechanism to counter the Indian lies time and again.
Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on 25th November, wrote a strong Note Verbale to the Government of India condemning the shooting of Indian Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB)-which is India’s one of the five para-military forces that guards borders with Nepal and Bhutan- in Nepalese territory on the same day, which badly injured four Nepali citizens: Ashok Yadav, Manoj Yadav, Naresh Yadav and Saroj Yadav of Haripur VDC, Sunsari District.
All of the injured are undergoing treatment in Sunsari’s BP Koirala Hospital. Ashok Yadav is in critical condition. Nepal government has asked clarification from Indian envoy Ranajit Rae regarding the incident.
Nepal’s top daily The Kathmandu Post carried a story in its online issue the same day, before India started lying on the incident, “Indian Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) Satana Post in-charge Ranbir Singh has accepted that their security personnel had opened fire at Bhantabari of Sunsari on Wednesday (25thNovember) morning.” (www.kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2015-11-25/indian-ssb-accepts-border-firing-incident.html ). Naturally, Nepalese were not happy. Top government officials were immediately directed to take necessary steps. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sought clarifications from the government of India. Home Ministry increased the presence of Armed Police Force in the Bhantabari bazaar.
Meanwhile, doing vote-facefrom the truth, Indian government through its embassy in Kathmanduhas spoken a plain lie about the incident. It has said that the shooting didn’t take place in Nepalese side and the bullets didn’t injure Nepalese. Not only this, India’s state news agency- the Press Trust of India- blamed Nepal citing unnamed official sources. See the Indian version here (www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/nepal-shifting-blame-for-its-atrocities-to-ssb-india-115112500847_1.html ). This is nothing more than a blatant lie.
Eyewitness accounts explain the story in a different way. See the Republica Daily story here: (www.myrepublica.com/feature-article/story/31677/4-injured-as-ssb-personnel-open-fire-on-nepali-soil.html ): The victims were huddled around a fire to keep themselves warm in the cold weather when a group of six SSB personnel came toward them and enquired about some chemical fertilizer smugglers on the run. A dispute broke out after they expressed their ignorance about any smugglers.
“The SSB personnel tried to beat us up when we couldn’t answer their question. That angered us. All of them then opened fire at once and without any warning,” said the injured Saroj. “People from India smuggle fertilizer into our country and charge us a high price for it. And then the SSB comes here and beats us up instead of taking action against the culprits,” he added, venting his outrage over the incident.
Then what next? Learning from these incidents, Government of Nepal must bolster its border security in the south. It must double the number of Armed Police Force along Nepal-India border; equip them with modern technology so that a security as well as diplomatic response can be given right away. It must also strengthen its information mechanism to counter the Indian lies time and again. The state of affairs cannot afford to run like this in Nepal. It must change and immediately.