Menon Greeted with Black Flags in Nepal

On a two-day visit to Nepal for accelerating peace process and fostering ties, Indian foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon faced protest at the Kathmandu airport on his arrival by youths who accused India of occupying Nepal’s territory.

According to Nepal police, some six to seven young men probably students tried to show visiting envoy black flags as he landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Police broke up the protest and arrested four of the protesters.

“It’s a non-political protest,” the Gaushala police station in-charge said. “The youths said they were part of the Susta Bachao Abhiyan. We are looking into the matter.”

It may be mentioned that for many years now Nepalis have been accusing India of encroaching over Susta, a village in Nawalparasi district on the Indo-Nepal border.

Besides, locals claiming to have been displaced have formed a committee to launch a campaign to reclaim the village.

The committee recently came to Kathmandu to submit a memorandum to the new Prime Minister, Madhav Kumar Nepal.

The Indian government says that all border disputes between the two neighbours have been resolved except for Susta and Kalapani, another disputed area on the Indo-Nepal-China border.

However, on the eve of Menon’s visit, there were a series of reports in the Nepali media, alleging further encroachment and violence by India’s border guards – the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) – in other districts.

Though the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu denied the allegations, two teams of lawmakers and politicians who went to visit some of the disputed sites have since then submitted their reports, claiming the allegations were true.

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