Not training Nepali Maoists, says India; Rao to visit Kathmandu

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NEW DELHI - Ahead of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao’s visit to Kathmandu next month, the government Wednesday sought to create a positive tone by rejecting media reports on Nepali Maoists being trained in India, terming them “baseless and unfounded”.

“We have seen some media reports regarding the training of Nepalese Maoists in India. The reports are baseless and unfounded,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said here.

A book authored by a former senior military officer at Nepal’s royal palace, which narrates events leading to the massacre of king Birendra and nine others in 2001, has claimed that India joined forces with Nepal’s Maoist guerrillas as it wanted abolition of the monarchy.

In his memoirs “Maile dekheko darbar” (The court as I saw it), Gen Bibek Shah said given the meetings held between Nepal’s political party leaders and the Maoists in India, it was inconceivable that the Indian intelligence agencies did not know about them.

Shah has contended India actively trained Nepal’s Maoist guerrillas. He claimed that the nexus came to light when an armed police force team went to Chakrata in India’s Uttarakhand state to receive arms training from the Indian authorities and learned that an earlier group, apparently Maoists, had also been trained there.

Rao is expected to go to Kathmandu Jan 18 on a three-day visit amid the floundering peace process in the Himalayan republic and the six-month deadlock over government formation.

Rao is likely to meet caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, CPN-Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and the leaders of other major political parties.

The visit will take place against the backdrop of the Maoists becoming more shrill in accusing India of interference in Nepal’s internal processes.

India, which joins the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member Jan 1, 2011, will also have to take a position on extending the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), entrusted with monitoring Nepal’s stalled peace process.

The UNMIN is set to pull out by Jan 15 but the Maoists want its term extended.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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