Activists of Greater Nepal Nationalist Front protested in front of the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu Thursday, demanding that India return a territory of 57, 736 square km, which Nepal lost to the then British India in 1816 under the Sugauli Treaty.
The protest occurred in coincidence with India’s 67th Independence Day on August 15.
“As India became independent on this day, we organized the protest to remind them that they have still been colonizing and occupying some parts of Nepal,” Phanindra Nepal, president of the Front, told Xinhua.
“In 1947, when the British left their colony India, the Nepali territory had to be returned to Nepal, but it did not happen. On legal ground, those territories still belong to Nepal and must be returned to Nepal,” said Phanindra.
According to the Front, the present-day Indian states of Uttarakhand and Sikkim along with Darjeeling district of West Bengal belong to Nepal.
“Teesta River in the east and Satlej River in the west are the actual borders of Nepal, instead of the present border of Mechi River in the east and Mahakali River in the west,” said BN Sharma, vice president of the Front.
All the three territories (Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Darjeeling) as claimed by the Front have adjoining land borders with the present- day Nepal.
The protesters shouted slogans against the Indian government and also attempted to burn copies of a promo, in which Nepal’s famous mountain Mt. Machhapuchhre of Pokhara has been shown as an Indian mountain.
The promo was part of a program “Yeh Mera India” to be aired from Animal Planet India from August 15 onwards at 9 p.m. every night.
Police intervened in the protest but the protesters torn apart the copies of the promo and shouted anti-Indian slogans for nearly an hour.
“Down with Indian expansionism,” “Down with Indian intervention, ” “You can’t encroach our borders” and “Long live Nepal, long live Nepali pride” were some of the slogans chanted by the protesters amid the thick presence of the security personnel.
Two leaders of the Front were later allowed to submit memorandum to the Indian embassy.