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‘Nepal protesting across Lipulekh pass on someone’s behest’: Army chief

In a veiled reference to a potential Chinese function, military chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Friday claimed that Nepal’s protest against the building of a border street in Uttarakhand was in the behest of somebody else.

Kathmandu has voiced sorrow at the inauguration of this street from Dharchula into Lipulekh (the gateway to Kailash-Mansarovar), arguing the street”moves through Nepali land”.

“The region east of Kali (Mahakali) lake belongs to them (Nepal). The street we constructed is about the west of this river. I don’t understand what they’re agitating about,” Naravane explained, through an internet conversation organized by the Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses.

The military chief pointed it out had been very much a chance that Nepal raised the problem in someone else’s behest, including there was no such difficulty previously.

The BRO constructed the 80-km stretch with an elevation ranging from 6000 ft to 17,060 ft, making the shortest path for its Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra. Countless pilgrims go to this 6,638-metre Mount Kailash, situated near Mansarovar Lake at the Tibet Autonomous Region, annually presuming that circumambulating the sacred mountain brings good luck.

New Delhi has claimed that the area where the street was constructed is”entirely within the land of India.” The Nepal authorities summoned the Indian envoy on May 11 to protest the building of the street, signaling that an escalation of this diplomatic row.

The boundary row surfaced months following Nepal was irked by the depiction of Kalapani included in Uttarakhand in fresh Indian maps revealing the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Nepal had hunted talks to deal with the Kalapani problem but New Delhi refused Kathmandu’s demonstration, stating the new maps correctly depict Indian land.

Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is regarded as near China that played a vital behind-the-scenes function in bringing together Communist parties to make the government in Kathmandu.

Naturally, there were tensions between India and China over the along the Line of Actual Contol (LAC). Many soldiers on either side were hurt in such events, which marked the first significant flare-up across the LAC because of the 73-day standoff in Doklam in 2017.

Both the military chief as well as the external affairs ministry on Thursday pointed out face-offs between boundary troops along LAC happened due to differing perceptions of this alignment of boundaries that aren’t solved.

There was no official reply to the opinions from Nepal’s international ministry but individuals knowledgeable about the improvements in Kathmandu said the government had been bothered by the remarks since the Indian army leader also holds the honorary position of the leader of Nepalese Army.