Border dispute may grow into conflict

The Indian ministry of external affairs has not reacted to this fractious development — yet. But this is a case of Indian territory being deemed disputed. Well, territory belonging to a person of Indian origin, anyway. And not just that. The PIO has been accused of having encroached into neighbouring territory. Now, where have we heard this kind of thing before? Certainly not in Auckland, where New Zealander Deepak Lal’s home was allegedly constructed last year with one whole metre going into another man’s land. Thankfully, neither is a nuclear power.

This would seem silly news. But South and North Asians take border disputes seriously. Lal has been threatened to move back his troops… er, property, or be damaged — by a Rs 1.6 crore legal fine. This may not be a McMahon or Radcliffe Line, but a line it is. If Lal retreats, he will be admitting to an act of aggression — or, worse, a mistake. On the other hand, the 1 m jutting into non-Lal territory is confirmed.

Our doughty PIO says that it’s an historical construction mistake that’s not his doing. Not having the British Empire to blame here, though, the UN may not be an option for justice. An out-of-court option is being reportedly sought. But the Auckland Council authorities should know that as a PIO, Lal abhors any referendum that may not go his way.


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