India’s border with Nepal was sealed today, 48 hours before the municipal polls in the neighbouring country, to prevent anti-social elements from crossing the international boundary and vitiating the election atmosphere, officials said. The border at Sonauli was sealed at 8 AM this morning, preventing vehicles from crossing the check-post, leading to long queues of trucks on both the sides. Pedestrians were, however, being allowed to cross the border, but only after thorough checking, officials said. Municipal elections will be held in Nepal on June 28. Some Madhes-centric parties have opposed the elections seeking that the Constitution be amended to accommodate their demands for more representation in parliament and redrawing of provincial boundaries. “A decision to seal the border was taken at a high-level meeting of a coordination committee,” said V K Singh, District Magistrate, Maharajganj.
The meeting was attended by officers of the local administration, police, border guarding force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Army, customs, immigration and other departments of both the countries. SSB, which works under the command of the Union home ministry, guards the 1,751 km long Indo-Nepal border. Uttar Pradesh shares a 599.3 km long open border with Nepal touching seven districts – Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Bahraich, Sravasti, Balrampur, Sidhharthnagar and Maharajganj.