Nepal’s recent announcement of issuing a new Rs 100 currency note depicting a map containing Indian territories has sparked controversy with India.

Key Highlights:

  • The council of ministers, led by Prime Minister Pushpakamal Dahal ‘Prachanda,’ has decided to incorporate a new map of Nepal. 
  • This map, featured on the Rs 100 banknotes, now incorporates Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura, and Kalapani. 
  • The cabinet has also given approval for the redesign of the Rs 100 banknote, which involves replacing the existing map printed in the background.

Overview of the dispute:

  • In the map of India dated November 2019, all disputed territories with Nepal were included.
  • Nepal exacerbated diplomatic strains by releasing a political map in May 2020 that included the same territories. 
  • Further friction ensued when Nepal lodged a diplomatic protest with India regarding the inauguration of a road connecting Kailash Mansarovar via Lipulekh.
  • India’s Ministry of External Affairs responded to Nepal’s objection, asserting that the road, passing through Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district, entirely lies within Indian territory.

Historical Background of Nepal Claims:

  • Nepal asserts its claim over territories such as Limpiyadhura, Kalapani, and Lipulekh based on the Treaty of Sugauli 1816, which stipulates that all lands east of the Kali (Mahakali) river belong to Nepal. 
  • The treaty, signed on March 4, 1816, between the East India Company and Guru Gajraj Mishra, delineated Nepal’s boundaries following the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814–16. 
  • India, however, stated that the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between India and Nepal rendered the Sugauli Treaty null and void. 
  • Nepal counters this argument by citing treaties such as the 1923 Nepal–Britain Treaty of Friendship, which reaffirmed its sovereignty during the British colonial era.
  • Nepal shares a long border with India, extending over 1,850 kilometers. This border touches five Indian states, namely Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

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