Indian forest officials close Gulariya-Murtiha border point for two days

Published On: April 4, 2023 05:00 PM NPT By: Nirmal Ghimire

BARDIYA, April 4: Cross-border movement through the Gulariya-Murtiha border point has been badly affected as the Indian authorities have blocked movement through the border point since Monday afternoon.

The general public has to bear the brunt of the irrational decision of Indian forest officials who have violated international law, closing the border point between the two countries.

The number of patients who visit cities in India for treatment through this border point is high. When the Indian forest officials closed the border point without prior notice, the Indian SSB assigned to provide security to the Indian border and the security officers of the Nepal side were displeased.

Ranger Ashok Tyagi, who is posted at the border post under the instructions of Aakash Dhuip, Forest Officer (DFO) of the Indian side without coordinating with the counterpart, has been found misbehaving with the Nepali people in the name of stopping their movement in that area. It is alleged that he also beat up a rickshaw puller from Nepal.

An SSB man stationed at the border point said that the SSB had not closed the border and there was no such instruction from the battalion commander. “We didn't stop it,” the SSB said, “We didn't like the fact that the forest officer forcibly put on hold the movement around border areas.”

The act of unilaterally closing the border between the two countries is against the spirit of the centuries-old relation between the two countries, he said, arguing that sealing the border cannot be done without information and coordination.

Nepalis have been allowed to participate in forest cleaning on the Indian side of the border. The Indian border authorities have allowed the Nepalis to bring fodder and firewood for cleaning the forest. During that time, the SSB assumed that the forest officer had stopped the movement by alleging that the trees had been cut down. According to him, the arbitrariness of forest officials who do not provide incentives to Nepalis should be halted.

On Tuesday, after Chief District Officer Narayan Prasad Risal coordinated with the Indian side, people moved sporadically, but the Nepalis are not completely seen comfortable moving at the border.

When trying to get information about the one-way border sealing, the Superintendent of Armed Police Force (APF) Harka Bahadur Shahi could not be contacted.

Manoj Yadav, chairman of ward no. 7 said that the forest officials should not close the border by violating international laws. Yadav, who is also a central member of the Nepal-India Friendship Association, said, “When the border movement is stopped, it is done after the coordination of the security officials of the two countries. Due to the unilateral ban, we have proceeded with correspondence with the Indian side.”

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