A view from Kathmandu: Deciphering the Kalapani-Lipulekh conundrum
May 22, 2020 —
Origin of the conflict:
The origin of the Kalapani and Lipulekh conflict dates back to the Treaty of Sugauli which was signed in December 1815 and ratified in March 1816 by the East India Company and the Kingdom of Nepal after the end of the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814-1816) where Nepal lost one-third of its territory to them. Some parts of land (western Terai) were later returned back to Nepal in 1860 after Junga Bahadur Rana, Nepali Prime Minister helped British in suppressing the Indian Rebellion of 1857. As per the Article V of the Sugauli Treaty, ‘west of the Kali river’ belongs to India. The treaty fails to mention the source of Kali (Sharda/Mahakali) river which has become the bone of contention between the two countries.
Nepali border expert claims that according to the maps published by the then British Surveyor General of India in the years of 1827 as well as 1856, Kalapani area is clearly depicted as a Nepalese territory.
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