Gautam’s criminal tag on Tarai groups

Bhairahawa, October 21:

The government would use force against the Tarai armed outfits if they did not come for talks, warned Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam today.

He was addressing an interaction on “Indo-Nepal Border: Opportunity and Challenges” organised by Nepal-India Human Development and Friendship Organisation, Rupandehi. Claiming that most of the armed outfits active in the Tarai were criminal gangs, he said the government was ready for unconditional talks with them on all political agendas. Gautam said the country’s economy has suffered due to smuggling along the border and stressed on tightening border security to curb criminal activities.

India and China, he claimed, can never prosper until Nepal becomes economically sound. Urging India to lend more helping hand in poverty alleviation and sustainable development of Nepal, Gautam called upon India to invest in Nepal’s water resources.

At the programme, Nepali and Indian leaders said the open border between the two countries should be properly managed. Though the open border creates many opportunities for both countries, it also gives space for criminal activities, they observed.

Indian Congress Party leader and former Indian chief minister Harikesh Bahadur Singh said the two countries should move ahead together. Trade between the two nations would flourish, if the border management was improved, he said.