September 2, 2009
“Politics in Terai is fragmented to unmanageable levels. Most groups have a semi-militant character and there are allegedly 109 armed groups operating in the Terai alone. Many armed groups operate in the belt, with close ties with criminal networks across the border in India. The anarchic set up provides space for international counterfeit currency and drug trafficking.”
In its latest briefing paper, “Madhes: The challenges and opportunities for a stable Nepal” released today the ACHR stated that there are multiple Nepalese armed opposition groups operating from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and local politicians, not necessarily the Indian State, have been providing support to these groups.
The armed opposition groups in Terai, Nepal have been proliferating and about 100 of them are active at present.
“The improvement of law and order situation under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Bihar has also resulted in criminal elements exploiting lawlessness on the Nepal side, and collaborating with local operators to loot, extort, and kill. The cross border anarchic set up provides space to international counterfeit currency, drug smuggling and trafficking networks” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR.
While acknowledging India’s repeated insistence of not backing any extremist outfit from Nepal, the Asian Centre for Human Rights stated “Delhi complicates the situation further by attempting to micro-manage party politics and sending multiple and conflicting messages to different actors in Nepal.”
Asian Centre for Human Rights also called on the government of Nepal to recognize the rights of the Madhesis including their mother tongues and bring an end to the ongoing extrajudicial executions in the Terai in the name of maintaining law and order. There were allegations of over a dozen extrajudicial executions in recent past.
Warning about the deteriorating situation in the Terai, Asian Centre for Human Rights stated, “The debate over the Vice President Dr Parmanand Jha taking oath in Hindi may be over but another conflict may not be if the government of Nepal continues with its clumsy armed intervention.
ACHR has asked the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate the extrajudicial executions in the Terai region.
ACHR specifically recommended to the State governments of UP and Bihar (1) to stop any form of covert encouragement to extremist groups, using violent means, to push secessionist agenda in the Terai; (2) to not allow activities of these groups from Indian soil, and instead use leverage to push them to curtail activities on the lines of what had been done before the constituent assembly elections and (3) be vigilant about the potential of non state actors on the Indian side who provide such encouragement to extremist groups in the Terai, and take appropriate actions.
For the full report issued by Asian Centre for Human Rights on the Indian border issue, click on the link below: