Nepal Plans Increase in Border Posts With India

NEW DELHI: Amid the tension, Nepal plans to increase the number of its border outposts (BoPs) along the boundary with India by 100, from the existing 121 to 221 in the next year, in a move that, while it has been in the works for some time, comes at a time when friction between the two countries is high over a new map approved by the Himalayan country’s parliament that lays claim to territory that has always been with India.

The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), which guards India’s borders with Nepal, and India’s central intelligence agencies have information that Nepal’s Armed Police Force (APF), deployed at the border, has already been given approval for an additional 100 border posts by that country’s home ministry. A proposal for taking this number to 500 is under consideration, a top government official said on condition of anonymity. 

On Saturday, Nepal’s parliament voted unanimously to amend its constitution to redraw the country’s political map laying claim over the strategically key areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura.India has termed the decision “untenable” and in violation of current understanding to hold talks on outstanding border issues.

Queries sent to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Nepal’s plans for new outposts remained unanswered.

Those subscribing to the first school of thought said India has 533 BoPs of SSB at the 1,751km-long open border with Nepal, and argued that Nepal’s APF, too, has a right to erect as many posts it wants.