Piyush Shrivastava (Mail Today , Lucknow, August 31) – Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that the Indian government is concerned about Indians living in Nepal, considering its present political situation.
“Although the Madhesi problem is an internal issue of Nepal, the Indian government will protect the interests of the one crore Indians living there,” Singh said, during his visit to Maharajganj on Sunday.
He was there to unveil an outpost of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and lay the foundation stone of its proposed new building. The home minister’s visit is being considered crucial at this point of time because the entire Terai area along the UP-Nepal border is caught in violent clashes between the natives and Madhesis.
Madhesis are Indians who had migrated to Nepal years ago. While many have received Nepali citizenship, majority of them are still without a nationality. The Madhesis have alleged that several political and militant organisations have been targeting them and inflicting atrocities to force them to leave Nepal. However, the BJP has been supporting the Madhesis for long.
Yogi Adityanath, BJP MP from Gorakhpur and Mahant of Gorakshnath Temple, has often been alleged for providing logistic support to the movement of the Madhesis against the Nepal government.
The idea behind supporting Madhesis is that they are predominantly Hindus. However, some Indian Muslims and Christians are also there.
The southern region of Nepal, running along UP, Bihar and West Bengal, is known as Madhes. Madhesis, who constitute 30 per cent of Nepal’s population live in the Terai area. But 40 per cent of these Madhesis still don’t have a citizenship or the right to vote. They claim that the Nepal government deliberately ignores the Terai area to relegate them.
Large-scale violence has erupted along areas of Maharajganj and Siddharthnagar. While the Nepal government had invited them for talks, the Sanyukt Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, an umbrella organisation of the Madhesis on Saturday, had refused to participate in any meeting convened by Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.