Nepal | May 28, 2020

Over 400 Nepalis stranded at Rupandehi border point

Krishna Prasad Dhakal
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BHAIRAHAWA: As many as 400 Nepalis have been stranded at the Nepal-India border in Rupandehi district for the last three days after the government closed border points with India and China to halt the spreading of COVID-19 in Nepal.

After India imposed 21-day lockdown, most of the migrant workers including students, visitors, pilgrims among others walked for four to five days from various parts of India to reach the border point before being stopped by security personnel over the fear of spreading contagion in the country.

According to Belhiya Area Police Office In-charge and Police Inspector Ishowari Adhikari, those returning from India will not be allowed to enter Nepal unless directed from the higher level.

“We will turn them away to India. We will not let them in at any cost. We have an adequate force and are capable of stoping them at the border point,” Police Inspector Adhikari said referring to journalists query what if the influx of people try to barge into Nepal.

Chief District Officer (CDO) Maha Dev Panta did not respond to phone calls despite repeated attempts from journalists seeking his comments on the matter.

Likewise, Superintendent of Police (SP) Hem Bahadur Thapa said, “we cannot do anything from here unless the higher authority grants us permission to act on the issue.”

Sunauli Nagarpanchyat Chairman Sudhir Tripathi arranged food for at least 370 stranded Nepalis at three different locations in the area today. “They all went through preliminary health screening today itself, Tripathi added.

“Its an irony that the concerned authorities are turning their back in these difficult times. we urge the authorities to rescue stranded people in border point and put them in quarantine or isolation,” said Dr Santa Kumar Sharma chairperson of the Federation of Nepal-India Agent Association.

There seems a lack of preparedness or management to set up quarantines in Belhiya near the border point from any level of governments including the Siddharthanagar Municipality.



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