Human rights organisations oppose Indian blockadeA group of South Asian human rights organisations have condemned the undeclared border blockade by India, urging Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately resolve the crisis faced by the Nepali people.
A group of South Asian human rights organisations have condemned the undeclared border blockade by India, urging Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately resolve the crisis faced by the Nepali people.
“[W]e appeal to the prime minister of India to take necessary action to bring this crisis to an immediate end and ease the suffering of the Nepali people,” read a statement by the group on Friday.
Seventeen South Asian members of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development have concluded their regional meeting in Kathmandu. India’s response after Nepal promulgated its new constitution came under fire from the rights watchdogs particularly as the charter has “widespread acceptance” in Nepal. India closed its border to cargo movement into Nepal immediately after the promulgation of the constitution on September 20. This has resulted in widespread shortages of daily essentials like petrol, diesel, cooking gas, medicines and food supplies in a country that has already suffered heavily from massive earthquakes.
Due to the fuel shortage, the government has failed to carry out reconstruction works and supply relief to quake survivors.
The rights organisations have warned that Nepal is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis due to the embargo which violates the UN Convention on Laws of the Sea and several other treaties between Nepal and India. They also came heavily on the Indian propaganda that the new constitution was not accepted by a large section of Nepali population resulting in violent protests in the Tarai.
Lauding the new constitution, members of FORUM-ASIA said that the constitution drafting process “followed an extensive discussion on all provisions, and collection of comments and feedback on the draft from a wide cross-section of the population” concluding that “the constitution has had widespread acceptance across Nepal”.
Among the organisations which came up with the statement are Ain O Sailash Kendro of Bangladesh, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Inform Human Rights Documentation Centre of Sri Lanka, People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights of India and Informal Sector Service Centre of Nepal. In the statement, the organisations urged Indian authorities to immediately lift the blockade and also appealed to the international community to ease the crisis faced by Nepal.