An official of Nepal’s westernmost province near the disputed Kalapani region has asked Indian authorities in the Pithoragarh district to allow free movement for Nepalese nationals to the area. The Chief District Officer of Darchula in Nepal wrote to the district officials of Dharchula in Pithoragarh asserting Nepal’s rights over the region which was included into the official map of Nepal through the Second Constitution Amendment Bill 2077 which was passed in June.
“Within the Nepalese territory, do not create any obstruction for the free movement of the Nepalese citizens,” said the letter signed by Tek Singh Kunwar, Chief District Official of Darchula in Nepal.
The letter also reiterated Nepal’s claim over the triangular-shaped territory between Lipulekh-Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as per the Treaty of Sugauli of 1816. The government of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has been asking for dialogue with India over the ownership of the Kalapani area.
Nepal first revived the claim over the territory in November 2019 after India published a new political map. This was intensified on May 8 when India inaugurated the Dharchula-Lipulekh link road. Nepal’s diplomatic rhetoric has become stronger in recent weeks after amendment was passed in both the Houses of Parliament. However, this is the first time that a district official has sent a letter to Indian officials in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.
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