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Nepal frees detained Indian security personnel

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New Delhi/Kathmandu, Nov 29: Nepal has freed two Indian security personnel who were detained after they entered the Himalayan nation while chasing smugglers on Sunday, a senior official said.

The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) official said a patrolling party of 13 men was after smugglers near the India-Nepal border when constables Roshan and Ram Prasad mistakenly entered Nepal in foggy weather.

Both were detained by authorities there. Nepalese media earlier reported that 13 SSB personnel were detained.

Both SSB personnel were released in the afternoon, and they have returned to Indian territory, the official told IANS.

The Kathmandu Post Times reported earlier that the Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) detained 13 SSB men at Kechana in Jhapa after they entered Nepal while chasing oil smugglers.

They were kept at an APF camp in Kechana, it said.

Jhapa Chief District Officer Tej Prasad Poudel said they were trying to ascertain if the SSB personnel mistakenly entered Nepal.

Residents were quoted as saying that the detained SSB personnel had thrashed a Nepali, Mohammad Alam, while searching his home for smugglers. Four of the 13 SSB personnel had weapons, the report said.

The APF team reached Alam’s house and detained the Indians.

The SSB personnel reportedly entered Nepal by crossing the no man’s land from Kechana, the media reports said.

Smuggling of petrol and diesel has become rampant on the India-Nepal border ever since protests in Madhesi populated areas since September has effectively led to a blockade of the border.

Meanwhile, an Indian number plate bearing jeep was vandalized at Kanchanpur in Nepal, a media report said. Five Maoist cadres were detained following the incident, The Kathmandu Post said.

Police escorted the vandalized jeep across the border into India.

(IANS)

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India, Nepal Review New Developments in Ties

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning more towards China than India

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Sushma Swaraj, External affairs minister of India. Wikimedia

Recent developments in India-Nepal ties across various sectors came up for discussion during a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Thursday.

“The two ministers reviewed recent developments in bilateral ties across diverse sectors, including progress achieved on the three transformative initiatives launched in 2018 in the areas of agriculture, railways and inland waterways as well as pace of implementation of ongoing bilateral development and connectivity projects,”the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

“They expressed satisfaction at the significant progress made in different sectors of cooperation as a result of intensified bilateral exchanges at all levels in recent months,” it said.

According to the statement, the two leaders reiterated their commitment to maintain the new momentum and to further strengthen the traditionally close and friendly ties between the two countries.

India Pak relations
India, Nepal review new developments in ties.

India reset its ties with Nepal last year through a visit by Prime Minister Modi, his first after K.P. Sharma Oli became the Prime Minister.

During the visit, both sides agreed to boost trade and economic links, connectivity via air, land and water, people-to-people ties, with Modi declaring that India will work like a sherpa in the Himalayan nation’s development endeavours.

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This happened after there was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning more towards China than India. (IANS)