The fate of a dozen Nepali Maoist rebels held in India rests on the revised Extradition Treaty agreed on between Nepali and Indian home secretaries in New Delhi on Thursday. The details of the updated treaty, initially signed in 1953, have not been made public. The revised treaty will come into force once the ministers of the two countries sign it. Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Sharan, while returning from his assignment as Indian ambassador in Kathmandu, had said, "What India will do with the Nepali Maoist rebels found in India depends on the finalisation of the revised Extradition Treaty."
Two senior Maoist leaders have been in Indian jail while two others were handed over to Nepal in the past. Many junior level cadre have been either arrested or handed over by the Indian government.
Nepal and India had running differences on extraditing third country nationals that delayed the signing of this treaty. Foreign and Home Ministry officials in Kathmandu were tight-lipped about whether Nepal had finally given in to Indian demands that it hand over third country nationals caught in Nepal to India. Nepal already has an agreement with the US on not handing over each other's nationals to any third country. To supplement the revised Extradition treaty, Nepal and India have also signed the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty at the Home secretary level.