Terror links and India’s open border with Nepal

The arrest of Syed Liyaqat Shah, an alleged Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant, has started a volley of claims and counter-claims in India on whether he was planning a terror attack in Delhi or was on his way to Jammu and Kashmir as part of a rehabilitation plan.

There’s no dispute however over the fact that he had arrived in Kathmandu from Pakistan and was about to enter India through the Gorakhpur border when he landed in police net. Shah was not the first militant from Jammu and Kashmir who has followed the route.

Since 2010 nearly 300 former militants have returned to their home state, Jammu and Kashmir, from Pakistan to take part in the state government’s rehabilitation process. Many of them have travelled via Nepal and used to porous Indo-Nepal border—for their return.

Though the method has no official sanction of Indian and Pakistani governments, intelligence authorities of both countries are aware of it and have seemed to allow it to be used by disillusioned militants willing to return home and rebuild their lives.

But the Nepal route in used not just by militants willing to surrender and lead normal lives. The same path is being followed by many active militants, both from Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan, to enter India and carry out terror strikes across the country.

US diplomatic cables released by whistleblower website WikiLeaks in December 2010 mentions how 16 terrorists entered India via Nepal and then proceeded to Jammu and Kashmir in the first six months of 2009.

Former Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor made this assertion during a meeting of the then US National Security Advisor James Jones with defence minister AK Antony and defence ministry officials in New Delhi in June 2009.

Replying to a query by Jones on the percentage of infiltrators from Pakistan that manage to get through, Kapoor estimated it to be around 15-20% while citing the challenge posed by India’s open border with Nepal.

Indian authorities believe that the flow of militants using the same route is still continuing—with aid from the Pakistani embassy in Kathmandu. The porous border with Nepal is also believed to be used by militants to escape after carrying out terror strikes in India.

Besides militants the open Indo-Nepal border is used to ferry fake Indian currency from Pakistan to India. The same route is taken to smuggle arms into India—-both fake currency and arms are then used to fund militant activities and carry out terrorist attacks.

Nepal has been a safe haven of sorts for not just militants from Jammu and Kashmir but also for terror outfits of north east India.

In December 2010, Rajkumar Meghen, chairman of the banned United National Liberation Front (UNLF) of Manipur was arrested by a team of National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Bihar Police from East Champaran when he was about to board a Nepal-bound bus.

He allegedly had a Nepali name-Raju Shrestha, which he used as an alias while he was in Nepal.

Two months earlier, Anthony Shing aka Ningkhan Shimray, the foreign affairs chief of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah) was arrested at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu.

The same year in July another NE ultra, Niranjan Hojai, ‘commander-in-chief’ of the Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel) group of Assam, was also arrested in Nepal and handed over to Indian authorities.

Both Hojai and his ‘boss’ Jewel Garlossa who was arrested in Bangalore in June 2010 had properties in Nepal including hotels. The later also had a Nepali wife and fake Nepali passports.


One Response to “Terror links and India’s open border with Nepal”
  1. Dirgha Raj Prasai says:

    Respected Nepalese and Indian officers !

    The government of Nepal and India should conscious to manage the open boarder. Open boarder is becoming the cause of disturbance between Nepal and India. So, to maintain the cordial relation between Nepal and India, it is necessary to manage and control the open border by fencing and/or construction of wall along the border with consent of both the countries and maintain the 7-10 border points. If the boarder will as it is, the terrorism and anarchism can’t control in Nepal and India. In Nepal, the Maoist’s conspiracies may be the disturbances. Nepalese Maoists have been joining their hands with international terrorist org. In India also, there are many terrorist groups. The terrorists and anarchist never realize to maintain peaceful life. Because wolves may lose their teeth but not change their nature. Similarly, the terrorists also never change their habits. So, such terrorist activities and the Maoist’s evil intentions should be harassed with the best programmed.

    Yes ! We Nepalese people always want cordial and harmonious relation with India. But India has been conspiring internally to bring us pain. So we are suspicious of Indian activities. Nepal and India do not want any kind of communist authoritarianism; they aspire only to full democracy. The concerns of both countries are political stability, peace and good governance. It is because only a good and well-established political system can lead the public by determining appropriate social and economic management of the state through concrete policies and programmers. So, both nations are interested in a democratic system. But, the Maoists of Nepal and India want any democratic government to step down and be replaced by one led by themselves. Then why are the Indian politicians and diplomats supporting the anarchist groups?

    So to control the anarchist activities, the Monarchial democracy is very necessary in Nepal. The Nepalese people have deep faith in and are firmly committed to Constitutional Monarchy and multiparty democracy. The only Hindu country in the entire world had been declared secular and we have confused and a virtual state of anarchy. Nepal’s independence, national unity and sovereignty are best safeguarded by the intimate relationship between the King and people.

    An Indian scholar Dr. Arvind Gupta writes: “The Anti-India feeling in Nepal is at its peak. The peace process in Nepal is extremely complicated. India helped bring about the 12-point agreement. It is doubtful that India can help bring the peace process to the desired outcome. There is no guarantee that the Constitution will be drafted soon and that even if it is drafted, that it will bring stability. What were pitfalls of the Constitution of 1990? Why was it suspended without reason? What kind of new constitution would we require? Why has India supported the Constituent assembly? These are the causes of crisis in Nepal. The anti-Indian voice is increasing day-by-day. Nepalese democratic exercise faced a black period in between 2005-2013. The nation’s future seems dark because they have walked as directed by unseen forces that beckon them without studying Nepal’s geographical reality and sensitivity. We have to keep friendly relations with India due to our similar cultural and religious traditions. But, since 2005, the cordial situation is dissolving day by day between Nepal & India. I believe the permanent institution of ‘Monarchy’ can re-unite the cordial relationship between Nepal & India.
    History says and everybody knows the monarchy is a symbol of Nepalese unity and nationality. The culprits leaders are going to support Federal structure of the nation is the suicidal game. In Nepal, monarchy and Royal institution is taken as a reserve and protective force and the present situation of total chaos, disorder and anarchy can only be brought to an end if the communists and the nationalist of all party accept monarchy and, Hindu Kingdom and ethnic diversity under the umbrella of Nepali language and join hands with the monarch and the monarchists. So, to maintain cordial relation between Nepal and India , there should be restore the 1990 constitution with Monarchy.
    Thank you
    Dirgha Raj Prasai
    Former Member of Parliament-Nepal
    Political Analyst.


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