Over 40 held after protest outside Indian embassy in Nepal

Kathmandu, Dec 10 (IANS) Over 40 rights activists and lawyers were detained on Thursday after they protested in front of the Indian embassy here over the alleged blockade of essential goods supplies by India.

Rights activist Krishna Pahadi was among the activists arrested by Nepal Police during a sit-in protest organised as part of a 10-day campaign to mark the 67th International Human Rights Day.

The activists outside the embassy, located at Lainchaur in the Nepali capital, carried placards with slogans saying “India blockade is violation of human rights”, “Modi ji: End blockade, respect Nepal’s sovereignty” and “India: blockade is crime against humanity”.

“The embargo imposed by India has created a humanitarian crisis in Nepal and is against the human rights of the Nepali people,” said Pahadi.

The Himalayan nation has been facing protests for almost four months by Madhesi political parties and indigenous groups at major entry points on the Nepal-India border demanding revision of the Constitution and setting up of federally-administered provinces.

The ongoing agitation in Nepal’s southern plains has led to severe shortage of fuel, essential goods and drugs in the landlocked Himalayan nation.

Many of Nepal’s political parties, besides media and civil society lay the blame at India’s doorstep for the blockade. New Delhi, however, has dismissed the charge and maintains that the blockade was an internal matter of Nepal where an ongoing political agitation had led to cessation of cross-border transport.

At least 50 people have been killed in the protest since August.

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