According to the treaty, all territories east of the Kali River (also known as Sharda) belong to Nepal, including Lipulekh. The controversy, however, arises from the fact that the Kali river is formed by the confluence of two streams, the Kalapani (or Lipu Gad), which descends from the western border of the Lipulekh pass, and the Kuthi Yankti, which descends from the mountain range of Limpiyadhura. Therefore, based on the layout of the two rivers, India claims the territories of Kalapani as part of the Pithoragar district of Uttarakhand, while Nepal as part of the Dharchula district of Sudurpashchim.
Nepal has issued a new map asserting its claim over that narrow strip of land to the east of the Kali river comprising Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh, which India has come to claim as its own for geopolitical, economic, security and religious reasons. pic.twitter.com/RKBmKxKv7U
– Ajit Baral (@AjitBaral) May 18, 2020
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On Wednesday, May 20, the Nepalese minister of land management Padma Aryal showed the press the map that included the disputed area, exulting for the moment “historic”. The dispute over the territories was back point of controversy between Nepal and India on 8 May when the Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh a new 80 km road inaugurated in Dharchula, India, and Tibet, through Lipulekh step, which makes part of the disputed area.
The Indian initiative, undertaken to facilitate trade between the areas and the pilgrims travel to the Mansoravar lake, which is a Hindu place of worship, however, was strongly contested in Nepal where hundreds of protesters took to the streets to protest, burning images of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accusing India of violating Nepal’s territorial sovereignty.
Now India, after the publication of the new map of Nepal, returns to claim the territories and speaks of a “unilateral act” by the neighboring country. According to the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Indian Anurag Srivastava appropriation by the area of Nepal it is “contrary cartel bilaterally between the two countries and it is necessary to solve the boundary outstanding issues through diplomatic dialogue.” It also made it clear that India will not accept “artificial territorial expansion” by Nepal.
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However, Nepal has made it known that the new map will be included in school textbooks and official documents. Although India claims that the road section inaugurated on May 8 is “completely” on its territory, Nepalese Prime Minister Sharma Oli has made it clear that his country will not go back. “This is not a disputed land – Oli said in parliament – It is our land. India has created unnecessary controversy claiming it as their own. This government will make concrete efforts to recover the territories. ”
Meanwhile, China has offered to arbitrate the dispute. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said: “We hope that the two countries resolve their controversy adequately, through friendly consultations. We hope that the two countries should refrain from taking any unilateral action that could complicate the situation. ”
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