National

Govt sends diplomatic note to India over SSB firing

  • Indian national security adviser calls PM Dahal; Gautam declared martyr
- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Mar 11, 2017-

Nepal on Friday handed over a diplomatic note to the Indian authorities over killing of a Nepali citizen by India’s border security forces on Thursday.

Gobinda Gautam, 32, of Punarbas in Kanchanpur died when Indian Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel opened fire on locals along the Nepal-India border on Thursday following a dispute over construction of a culvert.  

Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi on Friday summoned Vinay Kumar, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of India in Kathmandu, and handed over the diplomatic note in which the government of Nepal has condemned the Kanchanpur incident and called for probe, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) . “The Nepali side also urges the Indian side to stop repeat of such inimical activities in future,” reads the note.

A press statement by the Embassy of India said Deputy Chief of Mission Kumar informed Foreign Secretary Bairagi of the decision “to initiate enquiry on the incident at the border of Lakhimpur Khiri-Kanchanpur districts”.

Meanwhile on Friday, India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval rang up Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and expressed his sorrow over the death of Gautam. According to sources, Doval told PM Dahal that India would extend all necessary diplomatic efforts and cooperation needed by the Nepali side and requested to provide post-mortem report and other information related to the incident to the Indian side, according to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

While informing Doval of the incident, PM Dahal told him that the issue was of serious and sensitive nature and assured Nepal’s full support to the enquiry launched by India. Dahal told Doval that he hoped India would take stern action against the guilty, the statement reads. Doval also communicated to Dahal that Modi expressed sadness over the incident.

Earlier on Friday, Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat spoke with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj over phone and sought India’s position on the killing of Gautam, as the Indian embassy on Thursday had denied that “there was any incident of firing by SSB”.

Swaraj is learnt to have told Mahat that the Indian government has taken the incident seriously and that it had already instructed local authorities to initiate a probe.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi told Parliament that the government has declared Gautam, a martyr. The government has also decided to provide Rs one million compensation to Gautam’s family and fund the education of his children, said Nidhi.

He also informed the House that Gautam was killed by SSB during a row over the construction of a culvert.

Demonstrations in Far West

MAHENDRANAGAR: Locals on Friday staged demonstrations at various places of the far-western region in protest of killing of Gobinda Gautam of Punarbas-8 by India’s Seema Sashastra Bal (SSB) on Thursday.

Kanchanpur and Kailali among other districts in the region remained shut. Local people also staged demonstrations at various custom points along Nepal-India border in the area.

Gobinda Gautam, 32, of Punarbas in Kanchnapur died on Thursday when Indian border security forces opened fire during a dispute over the construction of a culvert. Demonstrators chanted anti-India slogans as they resorted to vandalism and arson in some local marketplaces of southern Kanchanpur district.

Marketplaces in Punarbas, Belauri, Tribhuwanbasti and Annada Bazaar among other places remained shut. Vehicles stayed off roads while schools and business enterprises were closed. Locals from Dadeldhura and Baitadi also staged demonstrations.

MEA: enquiry initiated

KATHMANDU: India said on Friday that its Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has initiated an enquiry on the death of a Nepali citizen at Ananda Bazaar of Punarbas in Kanchanpur district. Gobinda Gautam, 32, died in SSB firing on Thursday.

In a statement issued on Friday, Gopal Baglay, spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said, “Following reports of the death of a Nepali national yesterday at the India-Nepal border, allegedly in a firing incident, the SSB has initiated an enquiry on this matter.”

It added that the government of Nepal “is being requested through diplomatic channels to share post-mortem and forensic reports to facilitate the process.” “Officials of the two bordering districts have met in the backdrop of the prevailing situation and agreed to maintain peace and order,” MEA said. (PR)

Published: 11-03-2017 08:09

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