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Nepal demands India probe ‘border firings’

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india mapKathmandu has asked New Delhi to probe claims Indian police fired at four Nepalis after crossing over the border, Nepali officials said Thursday, as ties worsen between the two neighbours.

The four men were travelling in Nepal’s southeastern district of Sunsari early Wednesday when Indian police opened fire after entering Nepali territory, foreign ministry spokesman Tara Prasad Pokharel said.

“We are deeply concerned that four Nepalis were injured in a shooting by Indian police officials inside Nepal’s territory,” Pokharel told AFP.

“We condemn the incident and demand that India investigate it and share the findings,” Pokharel said.

In a statement, the Indian embassy in Kathmandu on Wednesday said police were in pursuit of smugglers but denied firing at any Nepalis nor crossing the border.

“Our reports suggest otherwise, and we need them to look into the incident thoroughly and share the facts,” Pokharel said.

The incident adds further strain to already troubled ties between the two countries over a border blockade that has crippled the flow of vital supplies into landlocked Nepal.

Scores of trucks have been stranded at a key border checkpoint for over two months following protests by ethnic minorities over the Himalayan nation’s new constitution introduced in September.

Movement across other border checkpoints has also slowed to a crawl, leading to a nationwide fuel crisis and short supplies of medicines.

Nepal’s newly elected Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli accuses New Delhi of imposing an “undeclared blockade” to show its dissatisfaction with the new charter.

New Delhi has denied the charge and urged dialogue with the protesters, who belong to the Madhesi ethnic minority and share close cultural, linguistic and family links with Indians living across the border.



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