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  • Context (IE): Nepal’s cabinet decided to put a map on its Rs 100 currency note showing certain areas administered by India in Uttarakhand as part of its territory.

India-Nepal Border

  • Nepal shares a border of over 1,850 km with five Indian statesSikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Credit: Maps of India

  • The Anglo-Nepal War of 1814 and the subsequent treaty of peace signed in 1816 resulted in the delimitation and delineation of the border between the two countries.
  • While the Mahakali River formed the western boundary, the Mechi River boundary was formed along the east with ridges in the Darjeeling hills and Sikkim.

History of India-Nepal Border Dispute

  • Nepal surrendered a part of its western territory with the Treaty of Sugauli, signed between the British East India Company and Nepal in 1816, at the end of the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16 after its forces were defeated by the British East India Company.
  • The subsequent Sugauli treaty defined the origin of the Kali River as Nepal’s border point with India. The dispute is mainly due to the varying interpretations of the river’s origin and its various tributaries that cut through the mountains.
    1. The maps issued by the British Surveyor General of India in 1819, 1821, 1827, and 1856 showed the Kali River as originating in Limpiadhura.
    2. In 1920-21, Kali was shown as a stream originating from a temple site and joining the main stream about a kilometre downstream.
    3. However, the last map issued by the British before they left India in 1947 showed the initial position of the Kali River originating in Limpiadhura.
  • The villages in this area were covered by the Nepal government census until 1962, and the people paid land revenue to the government in Kathmandu. However, the situation changed after the Indo-China War of 1962.

A map of the indian state Description automatically generated

Credit: BBC

Differing views on the source of Kali River

Nepal’s Claim

  • Nepal shows the Kali River about 16 kilometers northwest of Kalapani at Limpiyadhura in the Zanskar range of the Himalayas. Thus, the entire stretch starting from Limpiyadhura, including Kalapani and Lipulekh, belongs to Nepal.
Kalapani area
  • The Kalapani area is of strategic significance in South Asian diplomacy as it serves as a tri-junction between India, China and Nepal.
  • Since 1962, Kalapani has been manned by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
  • Lipulekh pass connects the Indian state of Uttarakhand with the Tibet region of China.

India’s Claim

  • India argues that the River Kali originated from a smaller rivulet named Pankhagad, lying on the southern portion of Kalapani, and the subsequent ridge on the eastern part of this area is the true border, therefore making the territory part of India.

Learn in detail about India-Nepal Relations.

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