India’s Army Chief General MM Naravane has said that there is a possibility that someone is instigating Nepal against India. It comes days after Nepal raised objections to a new road being constructed by India in Lipu Lekh. Kathmandu may have protested at “someone else’s behest”, Naravane also said. “I don’t know what they are actually agitating about. There is a reason to believe that they might have raised this problem at the behest of someone else and that is very much a possibility,” Naravanae said at an online conference on Friday.
Even as no country was named by the army chief there are speculations swirled around China. The rift between the two neighbours further escalated after Nepal announced that new maps would be printed to include three disputed areas – Limpiyadhura, Lipu Lekh and Kalapani.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh last Friday inaugurated, via video link, the 80-kilometre road from Uttarakhand to the Lipu Lekh pass high in the Himalaya. Nepal’s foreign ministry last week had said that the new road being constructed by India “runs against the understanding reached between the two countries… that a solution to boundary issues would be sought through negotiations.”
Nepal said that the adjoining area of Kalapani is part of its territory. Nepal claims that all the territory east of the Mahakali river, including Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh, fall under its territory according to the Sugauli Treaty of 1816. The Indian Ambassador was also summoned by the government to register a protest.