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Uttarakhand scholars refute Nepal's claim on Kalapani

Uttarakhand scholars refute Nepals claim on Kalapani

Uttarakhand: Uttarakhand scholars on Sunday cited scriptures and books written before Independence that showed Kalapani as the source of Kali river, a key factor in Indian claim to areas that Nepal has now incorporated in its own map. 

The lower house of Nepalese parliament on Saturday approved the controversial map, triggering a strong protest from India.

The new Nepal map lays claim over Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura which India maintains are on its side of the border.

Kali is recognised as the border by both sides, but Nepal has contested that its source is the Kalapani area.

Nepalese commentators have argued that the real source of Kali river "also called Mahakali" is the Kuti-Yangti rivulet which originates in Limpiyadhura, a claim that allows Nepal extra territory in the region.

V D S Negi, a professor of history at the SS Jeena campus of the Kumaon University in Almora, cited Manas Khanda of the Skanda Purana, which has a reference to Kali river, known as Shyama in ancient times.

"Shloka number 2 of chapter 117 of Manas Khanda of Skanda Purana clearly says that the origin of 'Shyama' or Kali river is from 'Lipi Parvat' or Lipulekh hill," Negi said.

Manas Khanda of Skanda Purana was compiled in the latter half of the 12th century, centuries before the treaty of Sagauli was signed," he said, referring to the 1816 border agreement between Nepal and British India.

British travellers to Tibet before India's independence and Indian scholars writing on Kailash-Mansarovar have also cited Kalapani the origin of river Kali, Negi said.

He said Charles A Sheering, a British traveller and administrator who visited Tibet in 1905, also wrote in his book "Western Tibet and the British Borderland" that Kalapani is considered the original source of Kali river.

Quoting the book, Negi said over half a dozen small springs combine to form the source of Kali.

He also referred to Swami Pranavananda, an explorer-saint whose 1949 book on Kailash-Mansarovar described Kalapani as the traditional source of river Kali.

According to the author, the source was earlier known as Kalipani and later began to be called Kalapani by the locals.

Ajay Rawat, former head of department of history at Kumaon University, said the tribals of Vyas valley have been trading with Tibet through Lipulekh pass since the 6th century.

But there is no evidence to show the Nepalese doing trade through the pass, he argued.

"The Kailash-Mansarovar yatra by Indian pilgrims has been going on through the same pass for centuries without any objection from the rulers of Nepal," Rawat said.

Rawat also cited an application moved by the landlords in Vyas valley, in the present Dharchula sub-division of Pithoragarh, in the court of the then commissioner of Kumaon soon after the Sagauli treaty was signed.

The document said only two villages of Tinkar and Changru had gone to Nepal while six others remained with India after the treaty, according to Rawat.


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