Nepal-India border traffic resumes for first time in months

More than a hundred cargo vehicles crossed the India-Nepal border Saturday, for the first time since it was closed 135 days ago.

About 70 petrol tankers headed into India to fill up with fuel that has been scarce in Nepal since the closure.

The main border district office at Birganj said transit resumed after local residents dismantled the camp set up by an ethnic group that has been protesting against Nepal's new constitution.

The border blockade was a pressure tactic of the Madeshi activists seeking more autonomy. India closed the border due to what it called security concerns.

At least 55 people died in clashes in the region since late September.

Most of landlocked Nepal's trade goes through the Birganj border.

Cargo trucks began moving on Saturday, and fuel supplies were expected to follow shortly.

An amendment to the constitution was agreed last month to meet most of the demands of the southern activists, but the manner of drawing new federal state boundaries is still being contested.

The activists vowed to continue their demonstrations until the political dispute is resolved. They were meeting Saturday to discuss their next moves.

Nepal has been facing a severe fuel and cooking-gas scarcity as the Himalayan winter descends.

Last update: Sat, 06/02/2016 - 10:24

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