India accused of violating international law by Nepal
A senior Nepali law maker accused India of breaking the international law by deliberately halting cross-border trade, forcing the landlocked nation to ration fuel. Few days back, members of an ethnic minority living in Nepal`s southern plains have blocked a critical trade route into the country from India in protest over the new constitution adopted on September 20. Officials say cargo movement through other border checkpoints has also declined since last week, sparking fears of a fuel shortage and long queues at petrol stations.
As said by K.P. Oli, chief of the ruling UML party, the Indian government, rather than demonstrators, was responsible for the border stoppage, in an unofficial protest over its dissatisfaction over the constitution to which India denied the allegations.
His comments reflect mounting public anger in Nepal where many accuse India of being behind the blockade. More than 40 people have been killed in clashes between police and protesters representing ethnic minorities who say a new federal structure laid out in the constitution will leave them under-represented in the national parliament.
India, however, criticized Nepal for rushing the constitution rather than resolving the concerns of the minorities, many of whom have relatives living in India.
The new constitution, Nepal`s first to be drawn up by elected representatives, is the final stage in a peace process that began when Maoist rebels laid down their arms in 2006 after a decade-long insurgency.
The draft on the new constitution started in 2008 after the Maoists won parliamentary elections and abolished the monarchy.