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Nepal: Refugee leaders off to India to garner support

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With the aim of garnering support toward their agitation for repatriation, the leaders of Bhutanese refugees have left for India.

Three separate teams of refugee leaders have left, on Monday, for separate Indian cities to hold talks with Indian ministers, party representatives and human rights workers, say news reports.

A team led by Narad Adhikari and including Gopal Gurung and Rajman Gurung has left for New Delhi while another team led by DB Rana Sampang and including TB Thapa, TR Rai and KB Gurung has left for Darjeeling and Sikkim.

The third team led by DP Kafle and including Kin Dorjee has left for Kolkata, according to Balram Poudel, vice president of National Front for Democracy (NFD).

The NFD had led the 'Long March' repatriation campaign last month, which was suspended after India refused to allow them passage through its territory into Bhutan.

Poudel said that the teams will hold talks with the aim of ensuring passage for repatriation.

Meanwhile, the chief of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Kathmandu Abraham Abraham has invited 13 refugee leaders for talks on Tuesday. Reports add that refugee leaders could boycott the meeting.