Indian trucks passed into Nepal for the first time in over four months on Friday, after residents broke up blockades by Madhesi protesters at a key border crossing. About 60 freight carriers crossed over into Nepal from India from the Birgunj-Raxaul border crossing in Bihar for the first time since the blockade that began in September, following Madhesi agitation over Nepal's new constitution.
While the Birgunj-Raxaul border crossing had briefly opened up last month to allow movement of a few trucks into Nepal, it was shut down soon.
On Friday, residents from both sides of the border reportedly burnt down tents and camps of Madhesi protesters and chased them away to open the border, according to The Kathmandu Post.
The blockade had created an acute shortage of essential goods in Nepal, as the Birgunj-Raxaul border is the main route for more than two-third of the total supply of goods from India.
According to reports, 90 percent of Nepal's fuel demand is met through imports coming across the border.
Last month, the Nepal government said that it had accepted the main demands of the Madhesi protesters and vowed to amend the Constitution. The Madhesi community had been protesting against the new Constitution, claiming that it sought to divide the country into seven federal provinces that they said would end up dividing their ancestral land and marginalising them.
The Madhesi protests had turned violent in the last few months, leaving at least 50 people dead.
The lifting of the blockade comes ahead of a visit by Nepal's finance minister to India planned for the coming week.
However, the opening of the border on Friday was not official and authoirties said they expect the Madhesi protesters to return, Reuters reported.