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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 14:02 GMT
Nepalese Maoists 'entering India'
Nepalese rebel troops
Nepalese and Indian communists are in close contact, reports say
Indian police say that Nepalese rebels are entering India to take shelter and seek medical treatment.

A recent police report noted 128 cases of injured rebels being treated at hospitals in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state, the AP news agency says.

Three suspected rebels were arrested on Monday while trying to take a comrade to hospital in Uttar Pradesh's capital, Lucknow, police said.

Nepal's Maoists have been fighting for a communist republic since 1996.

Police raids

Uttar Pradesh and Nepal share a porous 780-kilometre (485 mile) border, which is patrolled by both countries.

"The actual number [of rebels entering India] must be very high," Anil Kumar Singh, a top state bureaucrat in Uttar Pradesh told AP.

"Many rebels who operate through their local contacts get treatment at undisclosed locations."

In July, nine suspected rebels, including an injured woman, were arrested in the border district of Balarampur.

Indian police often raid hospitals and border villages to flush out Maoist rebels hiding in the state.

"This is an open and overt activity by the police in the districts," a top intelligence official told BBC News Online on condition of anonymity.

Reports say the Nepalese rebels have close contacts with communist groups in India.

More than 8,000 people have died in violence in Nepal since the rebels took up arms eight years ago.

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