Intensifying his offensive against India, Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli said the virus from India “looks more lethal” than Chinese and Italian, accusing India for the spread of coronavirus cases in the country.
According to a report by NDTV, the Nepalese PM in his Parliament speech on May 20 said those entering Nepal through illegal channels are spreading the virus in the country, and that some party leaders are bringing in people from India without proper testing.
In his first Parliament address after the outbreak of coronavirus, PM Oli said, “It has become very difficult to contain COVID-19 due to the flow of people from outside. Indian virus looks more lethal than Chinese and Italian now. More are getting infected.”
This has further escalated the rift between India and Nepal, which was triggered by the Kalapani dispute.
Talking about the issue, he said Nepal would bring back Kalapani-Limpiyadhura-Lipulekh area “at any cost”. Recently, the Nepal Cabinet had released a political map, which showed the tri-junction as a part of the country.
Nepal has two tri-junctions with India – the Lipulekh Pass in the west and Jhinsang Chull in the east. The one under dispute currently is the Lipulekh Pass, located in Kalapani area at the border of Uttarakhand with Nepal.
Kalapani is a 35 square kilometre area in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
However, the Nepalese government contends that the Lipulekh Pass belongs to them as mentioned in Sugauli Treaty signed between the British East India Company and Nepal in 1816.
Nepal has been worried ever since Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on May 8 inaugurated a road connecting the Lipulekh pass with the Kailash Mansarovar route in China. Not only has Nepal protested the move, it is also considering putting up a security post in the area.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has maintained that the road going through Uttarakhand''s Pithoragarh district "lies completely within the territory of India".
Asserting that the newly inaugurated road follows the pre-existing route which is used pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the MEA said, "Under the present project, the same road has been made pliable for the ease and convenience of pilgrims, locals, and traders."