By Sajjad Shaukat
In order to wage India’s secret battles, the agents of the Indian secret agency have their presence in almost all regional countries, implementing various tactics of psychological warfare.
In this context, M. K Dhar in his book, “Open Secrets, India’s Intelligence Unveiled” points out, “RAW’s operations against the regional countries are conducted with great professional skill and expertise, which include the establishment of a huge network inside the target countries. It has used propaganda, political dissent, ethnic divisions, economic backwardness and criminal elements to foment subversion and terrorism to weaken these states in consonance with Indian regional ambitions.” However, application of these nefarious designs vary from country to country as RAW’s secret battles in the various countries proves.
Historically, India has also been trying to establish her hegemony in the region by controlling water sources and damaging agricultural economies of her neighbouring states. India has water disputes with Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Nevertheless, Indian has continued interventionist and hegemonic policies vis-à-vis her neighbours through RAW. Besides supporting separatism in East Pakistan which resulted in dismemberment of Pakistan and continued assistance to the separatist elements of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, New Delhi occupied Sikkim, subdued Bhutan, sponsored terrorism in Sri Lanka, and is, again, teasing Nepal.
In this respect, new tension arose between India and Nepal, when on March 9 2017, Nepalese national Gobinda Gautam age 32 years was killed by firing of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), India’s armed border force personal at Kakhimpur Khiri–Kanchanpur point of Indo-Nepal border amid tension on construction of a culvert by Nepalese local at the disputed border point. After the incident, protest was staged by Nepalese people; outside the Indian embassy at Kathmandu. The funeral of the slain individual was attended by thousands of well-wishers. The Nepalese government summoned Indian chargé d’affaires and called for a probe into the slaughter of the Nepalese citizen. Nepalese Prime Minister Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala talked to the Indian National Security Advisor (NSA) and Nepalese Foreign Minister contacted his Indian counterpart, terming the incident as grave and serious. All parties with some degree of variance condemned the incident and termed it a result of Indian interference.
But, the initial response of the Indian Embassy at Kathmandu was of denial. However, later, Indian NSA and home minister expressed their sorrow over the incident, while so as fulfill the formality, Indian PM Narendra Modi assured of action against the guilty after the completion of an inquiry. The report by the Nepalese Home Minister confirmed that the bullet was fired by SSB personnel.
The occurrence has sparked anti-India sentiments in Nepal where people are seeking redress against the protagonists in SSB. Media coverage of the incidents has targeted Indian SSB’s high handedness and plight of Nepalese people, inhabiting border area, who often become victims at the hands of SSB. The aftermath of the incident reflects that the anti-India emotions in Nepal which primarily stem out of the sense of subjugation require just a spark to ignite where such instances have been taking place regularly.
Media reports have disclosed that according to local residents, the victim Gobinda Gautam of Kanchanpur district in south-western Nepal was hit by shots deliberately fired by SSB personnel after a dispute over the construction of a culvert by Nepalese authorities.
Inspite of the ongoing investigation and steps taken by both sides to control the situation, fresh clashes between Nepalese nationals and SSB personnel were reported at two places only a day after the mortal incident. Several civilians were injured. Around 6000 Nepalese citizens gathered at Gauri Phanta border check post, along the Indo-Nepalese Border to protest the unwarranted killing of the Nepalese.
And, Gautam’s death created tension in Kanchanpur and hundreds protested outside the hospital where his body was kept. Nepal deployed armed police contingents to control the situation.
Notably, India and Nepal share a 1,751-km (1,094 miles) long and open border and thousands of people cross over each day to work and trade, but Nepali politicians have often complained India of meddling in its affairs.
Recall that India had earlier blockaded Nepal and was interfering in the process of the formulation of its new Constitution. It is New Delhi’s covert diplomacy to browbeat its neighbours and force them into subjugation. If they do not bow down to Indian desires, they are subjected to harsh treatment and efforts are launched to destabilize the country.
It is notable that Nepal’s foreign secretary Shanker Das Bairagi summoned India’s deputy chief of mission, Vinay Kumar, and handed over a “diplomatic note” that sought a probe. The Nepali side asked India to “stop such inimical activates”.
The death of Gautam triggered protests in some parts of Nepal that were joined by activists of the ruling CPN-Maoist Centre and opposition parties. Nepalese Home minister Bimalendra Nidhi said Gautam had been declared a martyr and the government will provide his family Rs. 1 million as compensation.
Lawmakers and various political parties of Nepal sought an answer from the government over the incident. They criticized the government for surrendering to India and not seeking compensation.
It is misfortune of the region that India which claims the largest democracy and is a big country, has created problems with its each neighbouring country. The main reason is that India wants its neighbours to accept its superior role in the region. With Pakistan, India feels frustration, as Islamabad did not become subjugated state of India. In this regard, New Delhi has conducted several false flag operations to distort the image of Pakistan and its security agencies in relation to terrorism—like the slaughter of two of its own soldiers and mutilated their bodies in the Udhampur sector across the Line of Control (LOC).
It is mentionable that for many years, India has openly been meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs by contriving internal strife through RAW in order to destabilize the successive governments and prop up puppet regimes. RAW had played a key role in the massacre of nine members of the Royal family of Nepal in 2001, when the former King tried to drift away from Indian hold.
In this connection, Indian-backed monarchy in Nepal was abolished after a long struggle of the Maoists who won the elections in April 2008. Now Nepal’s leadership has forsaken India and has tilted towards China whom New Delhi considers its strategic rival in Asia. But despite the victory of the Maoists, Nepali Congress and the former had been unable to reach a deal on power-sharing. Availing the opportunity, RAW’s agents who were well-penetrated in Nepali Congress and various government departments have been manipulating the situation so as to create lawlessness to bring Nepal back to Indian influence.
Meanwhile, RAW-supported Tibetans in Nepal have held protests against China’s rule over Tibet. In this context, on March 10, 2008 when anti-government protests by Buddhist monks had erupted in Tibet, flaring in nearby provinces. Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet who has lived in exile in India along with his 120,000 followers has been tacitly encouraged by RAW’s secret warriors—enabling him to mobilize armed groups and international support to create instability in Tibetan regions of China.
Nonetheless, killing of the Nepalese national Gobinda Gautam by firing of the SSB personnel and protests by the Nepalese people clearly show that the incident is part of the Indian scheme to convert Nepal into Indian colony, as Kathmandu has rejected Indian hegemonic designs.