Nepal, India to discuss cross-border crime

Kathmandu, May 19 (IANS) Nepal and India have decided to discuss cross-border crime to curb this menace on the 1,700-km border shared by the two countries, an official said here Sunday.

“A secretary-level meeting is scheduled for June first week. Exact date will be fixed soon. Cross-border crime will be a key feature of the meeting,” Nepal’s Home Ministry spokesperson Shankar Koirala told Xinhua.

In the meeting, Home Secretary Nabin Ghimire will lead the Nepali side, while Indian Home Secretary R.K. Singh will head the visiting delegation.

In Birgunj, Nepal’s trade point with India in the mid-Terai plains, two clothing merchants Raju Shah and Manoj Agrawal were murdered within 10 minutes on Oct 13, 2010.

In the same month, yet another merchant Binod Agrawal was hacked to death in the same city.

In the past seven years, there were 40 incidents of shooting, bombing and murder of businessmen in Birgunj, according to Nepali officials.

The motive of most of the crimes has been to extort a hefty ransom by criminals, who flee India to escape punishment back home.

“The unregulated open border between Nepal and India is the root cause for cross-border crime,” said Kedar Bhakta Shrestha, a foreign affairs expert and former Nepali ambassador to the US.

Both countries should develop a simplified border management system, in which there is no bureaucratic hassle for the locals, but records of identity cards of individuals crossing the border can be strictly kept, Shrestha added.

The last Nepal-India security talks at the secretary level were held in New Delhi on Jan 16-17, 2012.

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