India denies imposing economic blockade on Nepal

India denies imposing economic blockade on Nepal

Refuting Kathmandu’s allegation that India has “imposed unofficial economic blockade” on Nepal, New Delhi on Thursday said that the neighbouring country should set its own house in order first.

“The problem in Nepal is their own creation. And that is why we are urging them to reach out to their own people. Put your house in order,” Vikas Swarup, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, told journalists, as New Delhi sought to send out a tough message to Kathmandu.

India has taken a tough stand on the new constitution of Nepal, as it fears that the unrest triggered by the statute could lead to prolonged instability in the neighbouring country and spill-over effect might turn into a serious security concern for itself.

New Delhi has strongly refuted the charges of choking supply of essentials to the neighbouring country. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is of the view that India has to keep pressing political leadership of Nepal to amend its new statute for redressing grievances of the Madhesis, Tharus and Janajati communities.

Though New Delhi’s position on the new Constitution of Nepal gave an opportunity to “anti-India elements” in Kathmandu, the government is understood to be of the view that it was worth it as “a stitch in time would save nine”.

“We do recognise that there is growth of anti-India sentiment and this is something we are seriously concerned about. There is no doubt about that. But who is responsible for this...Who has stoked this anti-India sentiment,” the spokesperson said, adding that due to unrest in Terai, trucks carrying essential items from India were not being able to enter Nepal as speedily as they had been before the agitations.

Around 5033 cargo vehicles were at the India-Nepal border  on Thursday, awaiting entry into Nepal. In past few days only 250-300 trucks were able to entry the country.
There have been instances where Indian truckers and other vendors came under attacks.

The Madhesi and Tharu communities in Terai are protesting, as they believe that the new statute did not accommodate their aspirations nor address their concerns, let alone ending socio-economic discrimination they were purportedly subjected to for years.
 

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