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Nepalese cops cross border to take shelter in SSB posts during protests

New Delhi: In an unprecedented incident, over three dozen armed Nepalese police personnel crossed the border and took shelter in frontier posts of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) when Nepal witnessed sporadic incidents of violence and
PTI September 03, 2015 17:13 IST
PTI

New Delhi: In an unprecedented incident, over three dozen armed Nepalese police personnel crossed the border and took shelter in frontier posts of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) when Nepal witnessed sporadic incidents of violence and attacks on the men in uniform recently.

The Indian side, under constant monitoring of National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, facilitated the cross-border movement of the officers and men of Armed Police Force (APF) of Nepal in the last few days to SSB posts in the face of the erupting trouble.

APF, in the wake of ethnic Madhesi group protesters agitating against the proposed new Constitution in two towns bordering India, had to close down their border posts in Chandramohana, Sanphulawa, Dewapur in Bara district while it had to concentrate" and bring its Dhore and Pake police stations to Pakha in Parsa district of Nepal.

Sashastra Seema Bal not only provided security to these police officials but also ensured food and other facilities to them during their short stay at Indian border posts at locations like Raxaul and Piparkoti in Bihar and other places when incidents of violence were being reported from the country including against police forces.

Following the fast paced developments, SSB Director General B D Sharma got into a hotline contact with his counterpart and APF chief Kosh Raj Onta to ensure that Nepalese police officials are accommodated well in the times of crisis at Indian posts.

Officials said on September 1, about 18 personnel of Nepalese armed police were hosted at the Sikta border post of SSB in East Champaran of Bihar along the Indo-Nepal border.

Another group of officials were later hosted at some other SSB border posts.

"Our directions were clear to field commanders that they should help our counterparts in all ways possible. We did not cross the border but made sure we are there to receive them nicely in case of help and provide them all assistance," Sharma, who is on a tour to these areas, told PTI.

The SSB DG, who was called on by senior commanders of APF during the tour, said strict orders have been issued along this border that no large groups that are suspected to create trouble on the other side will be allowed to cross the Indo-Nepal border for the next few days.

The SSB, officials said, acted as 'brothers in arms' during the entire situation which has been called unprecedented at this 1,751-km 'open' border the two nations share.

"About 29-30 Nepal police personnel have come to SSB posts till now after violence erupted on the other side of the border," the officials said.

In a separate incident which occurred near Raxaul yesterday, not exactly related to the protests, half-a-dozen Nepal police officials were taken in safe custody by SSB teams to Raxaul police station on the Indian side after they were attacked by a 70-people strong squad.

SSB later escorted back these personnel up to the Birganj police station by evening.

The Joint Madhesi Front has enforced an indefinite strike in Parsa and neighbouring districts in southern Nepal to protest the draft Constitution and seven-province federal model proposed by the major parties on August 15.

The Madhesi parties are demanding autonomous region in Terai, the southern plains and more rights and representation for the Madhesi people living in the southern Nepal. The ethnic groups say having a separate state would give them a stronger say in local affairs.