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Month After Bomb Blast, Indian Embassy’s Field Office In Nepal’s Biratnagar To Shut Down

India was given permission to set up the office in 2008 to issue passes for vehicles that were plying on Indian roads after the devastating Koshi floods.

News18.com

Updated:May 22, 2018, 11:42 AM IST
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Month After Bomb Blast, Indian Embassy’s Field Office In Nepal’s Biratnagar To Shut Down
File image of Narendra Modi with Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. (PTI)
New Delhi: Indian Embassy’s camp office in Nepal’s Biratnagar will soon halt operations and be re-located.

Two days after Kathmandu Post reported that Nepalese Prime Minister KP Oli had, at the first parliamentary party meeting of the newly formed Nepal Communist Party, conveyed that the temporary field office of the Indian embassy had “outlived its purpose”, the Ministry of External Affairs here confirmed that it was decision that was conveyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit last week.

“The purpose for which this camp office was opened has been fulfilled. GoI (Government of India) had already decided to wind up the Camp Office and re-locate the personnel. This decision was conveyed by Prime Minister Modi to his Nepalese counterpart during his visit to Nepal last week. The PM of Nepal thanked PM (Narendra Modi) for informing him about this decision,” MEA's official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

India was given permission to set up the office in 2008 to issue passes for vehicles that were plying on Indian roads after the devastating Koshi floods.

According to those in the know of things, the consulate has also allegedly been a bone of contention within Nepal. Significantly, in April, a blast had destroyed the compound wall of the building in Biratnagar. One of the people to be arrested was Uday Rai aka Yugen who is allegedly the district secretary of Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’ led CPN.

The Kathmandu Post also reported that after repair of the damaged portion of the highway, Nepal had asked India to shut down the camp office but the Indian side did not comply.

The Indian flag was hoisted on the office building while India started distributing scholarships and got involved in various social activities using the facility, the Kathmandu Post reported.

India in 2014 sought the government's permission to establish a Consulate General Office in Biratnagar by upgrading the field office, the report said.

The Nepali government had tried to remove the field office six years ago when then Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha was the foreign minister. In 2011, then Baburam Bhattarai-led government issued two diplomatic notes to New Delhi seeking removal of the office, according to officials.

Speaking to News18, Bhattarai said that the issue should not be blown out of proportion. “If India wants another building, there can be diplomatic level talks and something can be facilitated,” he said.


(With inputs from agencies)


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