India takes exception to Bamdev Gautam’s ‘intruders from the south’ statement

Modi - Koirala

Indian ambassador to Nepal has decried the statement made by deputy prime minister Bamdev Gautam who said the ‘intruders’ responsible for the massacre of 7 police officers yesterday had entered Nepal ‘from the south’.

Anything ‘south’ in the context of Nepal-India relationship is readily construed as being related to the South Asian giant and hence India’s displeasure at the reference made by Mr Gautam.

The minister for home affairs, during his parliamentary address following the fateful clash between Tharuhat protesters and Nepal Police, had indicated that ‘intruders’ from the ‘south’ pre-planned the attack on the unsuspecting security forces that left seven police officers dead including Senior Superintendent of Police Laxman Neupane. He was speared, two inspectors were hacked to death while a senior constable was burned alive by a violent mob of Tharu agitators unhappy with the demarcation of provincial borders in the proposed new constitution.

Ambassador Ranjit Ray called on the minister today and registered his dissent. A statement released by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu also complained about ‘similar unsubstantiated statements that could cause misunderstandings and distort perceptions about the cordial and friendly relations between our two countries’.

In the mean time, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has telephoned his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala to express ‘concern that political and social instability would seriously compound the tragedy caused by the recent earthquake in Nepal’.

According to a news update posted on Mr Modi’s official website, he expressed his ‘sorrow at the loss of lives in the violence in Nepal and extended his condolences to the families of the deceased and the people of Nepal’.

“Prime Minister Modi called for exercise of restraint and restoration of peace and order. He appealed to the government, all political parties and the people of Nepal to eschew violence and maintain social harmony.”

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