Nepal to station APF personnel in Kalapani

Kathmandu, May 11

Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali today told the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives that the government would soon set up an Armed Police Force outpost at Chhangru in Kalapani region of Darchula district.

Darchula Chief District Officer Yadunath Paudel told THT over the phone that the government was preparing to airlift APF personnel to Chhangru, which was inaccessible by road.

“The home ministry told me that high-ranking officers will also accompany the APF team possibly on Wednesday. If we cannot airlift APF personnel on Wednesday for some reason, then we will do so by Friday,” he added.

He said his office was preparing to station 20 to 25 members under the command of an inspector initially so that the team could be divided into two groups to guard the border. “I had planned to set up a BOP (border outpost) there by April 20, but could not arrange logistics due to the lockdown,” said Paudel. The CDO added that APF personnel would be put up in a rented building till the government constructed a building for the security personnel. Paudel said the APF team would have to carry adequate food items for at least three months. People of Tinker and Chhangru villages migrate to lowlands during winter due to severe cold.

APF Spokesperson Deputy Inspector General Prabin Kumar Shrestha said APF in Chhangru would protect the border, control cross-border crime and provide security to government offices responsible for management of the border.

Nepal has 120 BOPs on the southern border and one on the northern border (at Kimathanka of Sankhuwasabha district).

Shrestha said APF would set up more BOPs at Hilsa in Humla district, Korala in Mustang district, Olangchungola in Taplejung district and one place each at Rasuwa and Sindhupalchowk districts. Within a year or so, the APF will set up around 100 BOPs along Nepal’s international border, he added.

Meanwhile, Gyawali told the House panel that Nepal could not wait for the coronavirus crisis to end in order to hold dialogue with India on Lipulekh dispute ‘as suggested by India’.

Gyawali told the panel that dialogue with India could be held amid the lockdown using alternative means of communication.

He said the government was committed to resolving the dispute over Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani through political and diplomatic means. First the government wants to hold talks with India at the foreign secretary level, Gyawali added.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 12, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.