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Security tightened in Kathmandu ahead of Naravane's arrival

The overall security in Kathmandu has been tightened ahead Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane's arrival in Nepal on Wednesday.

Security tightened in Kathmandu ahead of Naravanes arrival


At a time when the Nepal-India ties were at an all time low due to the boundary dispute, the visit is expected to cement the weakened relations between the two neighbours.

Though his visit is a routine affair between Nepal and India, one of his statements on the boundary dispute in May had created controversy, hence security officials are extra careful about possible demonstrations in Kathmandu.

A senior Nepal Police officer told IANS that Nepal Army, Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and other security agencies of Nepal are monitoring the situation in Kathmandu.

"We are aware of these elements and upped our surveillance," a security official told IANS.

Due to the security reason, the details of Navarane's visit, including his time of arrival, local accommodation, and routes for travelling to the Nepal Army headquarters, the President's Office, and the Prime Minister's Residence, have not been disclosed.

According to the official, huge numbers of police personal in plain clothes have been deployed in Kathmandu to check possible infiltration and protest.

A day ahead of his visit, Naravane issued a statement on Tuesday saying that he was delighted for his upcoming trip on the kind invitation of General Purna Chandra Thapa, Nepal's Chief of Army Staff.

"I am sure that this visit will go a long way in strengthening the bonds and friendships that the two armies cherish," he said.

The main events in his program include paying homage at the martyr's memorial in the Army Pavilion, receiving a guard of honour in the Army Headquarters, holding an official meeting with his General Thapa and address student officers at the Army Command and Staff College in Shivapuri near Kathmandu.

The top highlight of the visit will be the conferment of the rank of an honorary General of the Nepali Army to General Naravane by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Thursday amidst a special ceremony, according to an official statement.

Nepal and India have a historic tradition of conferring the honorary title to each other's army chief since 1950.

General Naravane will be the senior-most Indian official to visit Nepal following the countries' boundary dispute since last November after placing disputed territories in its new political map.

Gen Naravane added a twist in May after India opened a new track linking the Mansarover to Indian state of Uttarakhand.

Nepal protested the opening of the new track by India because the newly constructed road surpasses a tri-juncture between Nepal, India and China.

The Indian road surpasses across Lipulekh, that Nepal claims its own territory which it had protested earlier in 2015 during an agreement between New Delhi and Beijing.

After Nepal's protest over the new road constructed by India followed by dispute in Kalapani area which is an unsettled boundary row since decades, General Naravane had said that it was in fact China that was creating a flashpoint between Delhi and Kathmandu.

His statement had created huge uproar in Kathmandu.

Many officials believe that Naravane's statement was one of the major reasons behind Kathmandu's decision to release the new map on May 20 incorporating Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura which is currently occupied by India.

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