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'Increasing madrasas' in Nepal a concern for India

Publication Date : 17-01-2013


India has expressed a serious concern over the “growing number” of madrasas along bordering areas in Nepal.

Indian officials voiced the concern during a bilateral Joint Secretary-level mechanism meeting in New Delhi yesterday.

"The number of madrasas in the bordering areas of Nepal should not be mushrooming or go unnoticed," an Indian participant in the Joint Working Group on Border Management told the Post on condition of anonymity.

"Nepal should be serious on this matter as it could also create problems for Nepal in the coming days," the official said.

Indian officials are of the view that the madrasas could be used by extremist religious elements for activities that are hostile to India, said one Nepali participant in the meeting.

"The Indian side has requested us to look into issues like sources of funding and ways of regulating these madrasas," said the Nepali official.

In reply, the Nepali side informed India that the madrasas had been established after a thorough process under the guidelines of the government.

"These madrasas are registered with the Ministry of Education before beginning operations. Similarly, funds for social work are channelled through the Social Welfare Council," said another Nepali official.

Besides concern for the number of madrasas, various routine issues dominated the meeting, including discussions on the circulation of fake Indian currency, cross-borders crime and the harrasment of Nepalis by Indian border security officials and guards.

"We agreed to step up cooperation to tackle border-related problems on different levels," said the Nepali official.

The Nepali side also raised the issue of emigration by aspiring Nepali workers to third countries, especially in the Gulf. Thousands of Nepali migrants reach Gulf countries for work through illegal means via various Indian ports.

"Though India has been helping us address this problem to a large extent, we are expecting stringent measures in all ports, as is the case in Delhi," said a top Nepali immigration official.

A 13-member delegation led by Joint secretary at the home ministry, Shankar Koirala, from Nepal and a Indian team led by his counterpart Rakesh Singh participated in the meeting.


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