INDIA-NEPAL BORDER DISPUTE (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     9th May 2024        
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Context: Nepal recently decided to incorporate a map on its Rs 100 currency note, depicting specific areas administered by India in Uttarakhand as part of its territory.

India-Nepal Border Dispute

  • About: The territorial dispute is about a 372-sq-km area that includes Limpiadhura, Lipulekh, and Kalapani at the India-Nepal-China trijunction in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district. 
  • Nepal has claimed for long that these areas belong to it both historically and evidently.
  • Kalapani Dispute:
  • Sovereignty Claims: Both India and Nepal lay claim to the Kalapani area, situated strategically at the trijunction of India-Nepal-China.
  • Border Dispute: India administers the region, while Nepal contests this control, advocating for a different border delineation based on river geography.
  • Lipulekh Pass Dispute:
  • Geopolitical Significance: Lipulekh Pass, adjacent to the trijunction, is pivotal for trade and pilgrimage, notably facilitating the route to Kailash Mansarovar.
  • Territorial Claims: Nepal asserts ownership of the pass, contrasting India's stance, which aligns it with the Indian state of Uttarakhand.


Historical Context

  • Treaty of Sugauli (1814-16): Nepal lost territory to the East India Company, including areas east of the Kali River, as per Article 5 of the treaty.
  • Historical Mapping Perspectives

o Early British Maps (1819-1856): British Surveyor General maps showed the Kali River originating in Limpiadhura, indicating Nepal's historical jurisdiction.

  • Final British Map (1947): The last British map before Indian independence reaffirmed the original position of the Kali River originating in Limpiadhura, supporting Nepal's historical claim.
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