Nepali PM KP Oli claims Kalapani area, says won't cede an inch of land

Indian officials released official maps on October 31 that included parts of Kalapani

KP Oli Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Oli | Reuters

Nepal's Prime Minister K.P. Oli, on Sunday, referring to the disputed Kalapani area said that Nepal ‘will not cede even an inch of Nepali territory’. Oli was addressing a convention of National Youth Association, the sister wing of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), at Kathmandu.

India released an official map on October 31 that included parts of Kalapani, an area located on the western edge of Nepal. This is PM Oli's first public response after the map was released. Oli also clarified that the leftist government remains committed to resolving border issues with India through bilateral discussions.

“This patriotic government won’t let anyone take even an inch of Nepali land. The neighbouring country should withdraw its troops from our land,” PM Oli said. Students across Nepal have been taking to the streets protesting ‘Indian occupation of Nepali territory’.

There has been no official response from Delhi. Oli had called for an all-party meeting on November 9, which included former prime ministers and ex-foreign ministers. Leaders and other participants at the meeting asked him to take up the issue with India immediately. 

According to the Sugauli treaty, between Nepal and British India in 1815, Mahakali River that runs through the Kalapani area was acknowledged as the boundary between the two countries. 

Given the geographic importance of the region, a tri-junction with China, India occupied the Nepali territory across the Mahakali River since the 1960s, claiming a lesser-known stream of headwaters of the Mahakali river as the origin of the river and borderline.

On November 6, the Nepal Foreign Ministry said, “The government is clear that the Kalapani area lies within Nepalese territory.”

A day later, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said, “Our map accurately depicts the sovereign territory of India. The new map has in no manner revised our boundary with Nepal… The boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing under the existing mechanism. We reiterate our commitment to finding a solution through dialogue in the spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations.”