India alleges Nepal ‘buying’ citizens in border areas

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Nepal triggered a diplomatic row with India after it claimed Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura within its boundaries. Since last week there have been incidences including Nepalese agents trying to contact the citizens of Kalapani territory in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand and adjoining villages like Kuti, Nabhi and Gunji offering them money, land and citizenship of Nepal.

Before lockdown there was a constant flow of people and goods across borders but after lockdown people lost all of their contacts. As the frequency of such approaches increased residents of these villages wrote to the centre about their loyalties with India. Indian security agencies have alleged that Nepalese personnel are calling villagers in Darchula directly as their ‘well-wishers.’  Amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the India-Nepal border has remained closed for people to travel. 

On May 8, 2020, India inaugurated an 80 km long road on Lipulekh pass in the Himalayas making it one of the quickest links between Delhi and Tibetan plateau. Nepal immediately responded, contending that the road crosses the territory claimed by Nepal and India took the decision without consulting with it.

Nepal is presumed to be receiving funds from China amidst the standoff between India-China on LAC. The LAC dispute which originated in May as well between the Indian and Chinese troops deployed over the Galwan Valley resulted in the death of20 Indian soldiersThe incident followed rising tensions and was the first deadly clash in the border area in at least 45 years. 

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