News from Nepal November, 2011 (consolidated)

Fire in Chitwan comes under control after 9 hrs

Nov 1, 2011 @ 12:41

The deadly fire, which was started at a food store room of Dantakali Pashupati Grocery of local Dinesh Rathi situated at Bharatpur Municipality-4, Ananda Marga, of Chitwan district on Monday midnight, came under control after nine hours, according to RSS.

The fire was taken under control with the help of two fire engines of Birgunj Sub-Metropolitan and one each from Hetauda and Bharatpur Municipality and local residents.

According to Chitwan District Police Office, the fire destroyed various foods including pulses, rice, oil, peas, gram and soybean worth of around Rs. 50 million. Houses of Rathi and his neighbor Raj Kumar Shrestha were also damaged.

Police suspected that the store might have caught the fire due to short electric circuit.

Breakthrough in peace process‚ finally the leaders signed

Nov 2, 2011 @ 15:16

The major political parties finally agreed and made a much-awaited breakthrough in the peace process by signing a historic agreement on army integration, constitution drafting and power-sharing on Tuesday.

UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha leader Bijay Kumar Gachhadar signed the seven-point agreement and agreed to implement the peace process initiated nearly six years ago through the 12-point agreement between an alliance of seven parties and the then CPN-Maoist in New Delhi on 22 November, 2005.

The deal commits to integrate maximum 6,500 Maoists combatant in the Nepal Army, offers package worth between Rs.  600,000 to Rs. 900,000 for combatants who choose rehabilitation and cash package between Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 800,000 for combatants who choose the voluntary retirement option as per their ranks.

According to the deal, the regrouping of combatants along with the return of the properties seized during the conflict to rightful owners and dismantling of the paramilitary structure of the Young Communist League will be completed within November 23.

Other features of seven-point deal:-

  • All weapons to be brought under government control once integration begins
  • Constitutional commissions to be formed within one month
  • Relief for conflict victims
  • YCL paramilitary structure to be dismantled
  • High-level political mechanism to be formed
  • Statute drafting in one month
  • Experts’ team to be formed for state restructuring issues
  • National unity government to be formed

Vehicles used by Maoist leaders to be legalized by November 23

Peace deal giving hope to general investor increased NEPSE index

Nov 3, 2011 @ 12:10

The signing of the seven-point agreement on Tuesday has had a positive impact on Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse).  NEPSE index has increased by a whopping 16.61 points to close at 346.82 points on Wednesday from 330.21 points the previous day

This is the biggest ever single day gain in the current fiscal year. NEPSE has to impose circuit breakers three times following the increased stock market rate on the day. The first circuit breaker was imposed within an hour as the index surged by 3 percent. As per the existing provision, NEPSE can impose circuit breaker for 15 minutes if the index increases over 3 percent.

Similarly, second breaker can be announced if NEPSE index surged by one more percent to 4 percent.  Wednesday, it was announced for 30 minute and third circuit breaker was announced as index went up by more than 5 percent for the whole day with the growth in transaction.

Economists say it is only natural for the capital market to react to major political changes. Peace deal has given new hopes to the general investor and hence caused for the exorbitant growth in the stock market, says experts.

Father arrested on charge of ‘selling’ teen daughter for Rs 10,000

Nov 4, 2011 @ 14:06

Police on Wednesday arrested Podey Tamang of Balkumari Village Development Committee-8, Nuwakot on the charge of selling his 15-year-old daughter to three unidentified men for Rs 10,000 in Kathmandu on October 16.

According to media, the girl was reportedly being trafficked to Mumbai via Pune in India. She was rescued by a group of youths from her village, who were working in Pune.

After returning to home, she reported the incident to the police and Tamang’s alleged crime came to light.

Helicopter rescuing Lukla tourists makes emergency landing in Dolakha

Nov 7, 2011 @ 16:03

A helicopter of Fishtail Air flying to Kathmandu from Lukla has to be landed emergently at Tudikhel, Charikot of Dolakha district, at around 7:20 am after a technical problem.

The helicopter carrying five Russian tourists rescued from Lukla airport made emergency landing due to problem with its rear fan. The Russian tourists were sent to Kathmandu on a jeep with the help of the local administration.

Hundreds of tourists have been stranded in Lukla due to cancellation of flights from the last six days. Flight was being cancelled due to the unfavourable weather.

From Sunday, aircrafts belonging to Tara Airlines, Fishtail Airlines, Simrik Air and helicopters belonging to Nepal Army as well as private companies were involved in the rescue operation to bring the stranded tourists to Kathmandu.

Mother was killed by her own son

Nov 8, 2011 @ 18:16

A mother was killed by her own son in Ashrang VDC-6 of Gorkha district on Monday, according to RSS.

Following a minor family dispute, Ramchandra Kunwar, 32, hit on his mother’s head with a spade. His mother, Tika Maya Kunwar, 64, sustained serious injuries to her head and later died, according to Gorkha District Police Office.

The body has been kept at Gorkha hospital for post-mortem and the police have taken him into custody for the investigation.

According to the locals, Ramchandra is the only son of the deceased and she was suffering from paralysis and bed-tied since past four years.

Voice raised against the appointment of murder accused as minister

Nov 10, 2011 @ 06:45

Suryaman Dong, against whom the police have already issued an arrest warrant for his alleged involvement in the murder of Arjun Lama of Kavre district, was appointed as State Minister for Energy on Tuesday. Wednesday, around a dozen human rights organizations including Advocacy Forum have raised objections to this appointment and have demanded the government to immediately relive Dong from the post of minister.

According to the joint statement released by the organizations, the murder accused [Dong] should be immediately removed from the post of state minister as he could influence the investigation procedure through such powerful and dignified post.

Lama was murdered on April 29, 2005 after being elected as the chairman of the management committee of Kavre-based Krishna Secondary School and on August 11, 2008, Lama’s wife, Purnimaya had filed a case against Maoist cadres—Dong, Yadav Poudel, Bhola Aryal, Karnakhar Gautam and Norbu Moktan—for murdering her husband under the direction of Maoist lawmaker Agni Sapkota.

Maoist leader Dong was elected from Kavre district Constituency-1.

17th SAARC Summit in Maldives ends, 18th SAARC Summit in Nepal

Nov 12, 2011 @ 04:40

The two-day 17th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) begun on November 10 ended in Addu City of Maldives on Friday, issuing 20 points ‘Addu Declaration’ on the theme of “building bridges”.

All the eight member states signed four agreements in the course of the regional meet. The agreements signed are SAARC Agreement on Rapid Response to Natural Disasters, the SAARC Seed Bank Agreement, the SAARC Agreement on Multilateral Arrangement on Recognition of Conformity Assessment and the SAARC Agreement on Implementation Regional Standards.

The summit also took up the issue of environmental degradation and adopted a declaration to implement existing commitments to combat climate change.

China, America, Japan, Australia, Iran, South Korea, Mauritius, Myanmar, and the European Union have observer status in the SAARC and their representatives also addressed the concluding session of the summit Friday evening.

Meanwhile, the SAARC Summit accepted Nepal´s offer to hold the next SAARC Summit, 18th Saarc Summit in Nepal in 2013. SAARC Summit is held in every two years.

SC stops govt from implementing decision to pardon lawmaker Dhungel

Nov 14, 2011 @ 04:35

The Supreme Court (SC) on Sunday has issued an interim order to the government to stop it from implementing its decision of granting amnesty to murder accused Maoist lawmaker Bal Krishna Dhungel. This is the decision that has drawn national and international condemnation.

After conducting the preliminary hearing on the writ petition filed by Sabitri Shrestha, sister of Ujjan Kumar Shrestha who was murdered by Dhungel in 1998, a single bench of SC judge Tahil Ali Ansari ordered to keep the case in status quo for the time being and asked both litigants and defendants to appear before the court for further hearing on November 21.

On Tuesday, the government had urged President Ram Baran Yadav to pardon Dhungel and against this decision, Sabitri had filed writ and had also threatened of self-immolation if Dhungel is granted amnesty.

Dhungel was convicted of murdering Shrestha in 2010 by the SC.

PM Bhattarai breaks record of the number of ministers in the cabinet

Nov 14, 2011 @ 04:51

Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai on Sunday breaks record by inducting four new state ministers in his cabinet.

With this expansion, the total number of ministers in the Cabinet has reached 49, breaking the record of 48-member Cabinet led by former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. PM Bhattarai has formed the biggest Cabinet in the history.

Amid a function organized at the Office of the PM at Singha Durbar, PM Bhattarai administered the oath of office and secrecy to Om Prakash Yadav as Minister of State for Agriculture, Raya Yadav as Minister of State for Industry, Sarita Kumari Sah as Minister of State for Communication and Arbinda Sah as Minister of State for Women.

Ministers – Mahato has 95 tola gold, Gachhadar-91 tola gold, Pun-15 tola gold

Nov 15, 2011 @ 04:48

Monday, the Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC) released the details of property owned by several ministers as per the document submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The document submitted by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar reveals:

• two separate houses in Bhaluwa-8 of Sunsari district
• A house under construction in Biratnagar, which is in the name of his wife Nirmala.
• two separate plots of inherited land in Sunsari, measuring two katthas and eight bighas respectively as family owned.
• 13 annas of land in Bungmati in Lalitpur purchased with money sent by his son Subhas from the US.
• Around 91 tola of gold jewellery and 300 tola of silver jewellery mentioning it’s source as dowry given by Gachhadar’s in-laws during his marriage.
• Savings of Rs 277,000 in Sincere Saving Cooperative, Rs 817,000 in Rastriya Banijya Bank, Bhotahity branch as family owned.
• Rs 71,000, Rs 116,000 and Rs 479,000 in separate accounts in Rastriya Banijya Bank Biratnagar, Nepal Bangladesh Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Sincere Saving Cooperative respectively in the names of wife Nirmala.
• two separate companies and consultancies in the names of two sons Subhas and Suman.
• other property and shares in banks in the name of Nirmala.
• two four-wheelers. One of them was bought as facility provided to Gachhadar as a lawmaker.

The document submitted by Finance Minister Barsa Man Pun reveals:

• inherited houses and land in his home district in Rolpa
• 15 tola gold, 0.5 kg silver and Rs 700,000 cash.
• Rs 40,000 (own) and Rs 35,000 (his wife Onsar) in two separate bank accounts in Everest Bank.
• A “light” vehicle provided by the Maoist party and a motorcycle purchased for Rs 200,000.

Likewise, Minister for Health and Population Rajendra Mahato’s submitted document shows:
• A house each in Kathmandu and Sarlahi.
• Around five bighas of land in Sarlah
• two bighas of land in Dhanusha and one ropani of land at Machchhegaun in Kathmandu in the name of his wife Shailkumari.
• 95 tola gold and three kg of silver.
• Rs 402,000 and Rs 258,000 deposited in Everest Bank and Nepal Bank in Malangwa respectively.
• Saving of Rs 74,000 of his wife in Krishi Bikas Bank Gaushala.
• a Bolero jeep

Minister for Commerce and Supplies Lekhraj Bhatta’s submitted document shows:

• two houses in Kailali district in the name of his wife Nirmala.
• two bighas of inherited land in Kailali (family).
• A Mahindra Scorpio jeep provided by the Maoist party.

Environment Minister Hemraj Tated’s submitted document reveals:

• 12 katthas of inherited land in Saptari.
• one bigha in Saptari in the name of his wife Jayasri.
• 12 tola gold and 250 tola silver.
• savings of Rs 2,000 each in Everest Bank and SBI Bank and Rs 11,000 each in Sunrise Bank and Nepal Bank Limited respectively.
• a rice mill in Saptari.

Chhetris‚ Brahmins also want to have indigenous status

Nov 16, 2011 @ 15:02

The Brahman Chhetri Society demand Brahmin and Chhetri communities should also be included in the indigenous group in the constitution.

The Khas Chhetri Society National Federation and the Brahman Society Nepal organized a massive rally from Tinkune to New Baneshwor and then staged a massive sit-in in front of the Constituent Assembly building, New Baneshwor, according to RSS.

Brahmin and Chhetris are mentioned as ‘other’ caste in the interim constitution of Nepal which must be corrected by writing Brahmin and Chhetri in the new constitution, according to Federation Chairman Kumar Bahadur Thapa. He said that the State needs to provide service on the basis of class not on the basis of caste and added federalism must be determined on the basis of distribution of natural resources and economic development rather than from ethnicity.

Chairman of the Brahman Society Nepal, Narayan Prasad Adhikari also said population of Chhetri is 20 percent and of Brahmin is 13 percent in the country, so, mentioning them as ‘other’ in the interim constitution is disgracing these castes.

Minister Tripathi owns 194 tola gold, more than 5 ropanis land in the valley only

Nov 17, 2011 @ 18:00

Property details of Minister for Physical Planning and Works, Hridayesh Tripathi made public on on Thursday and it shows he has 194 tolas of gold, some gold rings and 32 kilograms of silver received as dowry, gifts from children and other sources.

It further shows there is a house built on 11 kattha land in Guthiparsauni of Nawalparasi District in the name of his father Hari Shankar and a house built on 13 anas plot in the name of his wife Shova in Sainbu VDC of Lalitpur District by taking Rs. 3.4 million in loan from bank.

According to the property detail as reported in RSS, the Tripathi family owns:

  • 19 bighas 17 kattha land jointly in Guthiparsauni in the name of Hari Shankar
  • 7 kattha 13 dhur land in Siddharatha Municipality, Rupandehi, bought at Rs. 5.5 million in the name of wife Shova.
  • One ropani, nine anas land in Bishnugaun and Bhadrakali in Kathmandu, two ropanis two anas plot in Bhainsepati, Lalitpur, two ropanis eight ana land near Naya Bus Park in the Capital.All these land pieces in his wife Shova’s name.
  • Deposit of Rs. 600,000 in Everest Bank Ltd that was received from his salaries and allowances.
  • Shares worth Rs. 50,000 in Bank of Asia and Rs. 1.86 million in Nepal Telecom in his wife’s name
  • Shares worth Rs. 30,000 in Prime Commercial Bank in his daughter, Pallawi Tripathi’s name
  • A Prado Jeep gotten in the capacity of minister, a car in the name of his wife Shova, Hilux Toyota car in the name of his daughter Pallawi and a tractor in the name of his elder brother Dinesh

But, the detail also shows that Minister Tripathi has taken Rs. 20.5 million in loan from Prudential Investment, Rs. 10 million from Siddhartha Bank, Rs. 2 million from Himalayan Bank and nearly Rs. 1 million from Agricultural Development Bank for the purchase of land pieces and vehicles.

450 police inspectors transferred

Nov 18, 2011 @ 18:58

On Friday, the Nepal police headquarters has transferred some 450 police inspectors. This is the largest number of transfers in the history of Nepal Police, as quoted by media. Earlier, when Hem Bahadur Gurung was the Inspector General of Police, there was transfer of 400 police inspectors.

According to police regulations, an Inspector of the Nepal Police is deputed to serve at a place for a year. But the transfers of the officers were pending for the last two and a half years.

Nepal Police Spokesperson, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Binod Singh said, police inspectors are transferred as per the decision of the Police Headquarters on Thursday. He further said, work experience, training, work efficiency and academic qualification of the police inspectors were the main criteria of the transfers.

Metropolitan Traffic Police demolishes Everest Hotel’s wall

Nov 19, 2011 @ 18:12

Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD), while making the road wider for vehicular movement, has demolished the wall of the Everest Hotel in New Baneshwor on Saturday. The wall that stood on the public land was brought down with the help of three dozers.

MTPD has started to demolish green islands, footpaths, and lane dividers at several places in the capital.

DIG Ganesh Raj Rai, Chief of MTPD, informed that the infrastructures made by encroaching the public land on the either sides of the road, are demolishing to make road wider. DIG Rai further added, “We will no more let the public land be used for some private purpose,” and “These land are separated for constructing roads. So there must be vehicles running on these roads”.

Minor bomb blast at Thapathali

Nov 22, 2011 @ 17:28

A ‘bomb’ exploded outside of the office of United Mission to Nepal at Thapathali Height on Tuesday afternoon. However, there were no reports of any casualty in the blast.

It is suspected that this blast in the residential area might have done by two persons who came in Motorcycle. According to Police, pamphlets signed by a group calling themselves ‘Nepal Defense Army’ have been found there.

Meanwhile, another thread bomb found at the same place was disposed by bomb disposal team of security personnel. (Photo Credit: Kantipur)

PAC directs govt to shut down casinos if fails to pay royalty

Nov 23, 2011 @ 18:00

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the legislature parliament on Tuesday has directed the government to close down all casinos having outstanding royalty and taxes.

PAC had summoned chief secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire, Secretary at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) Krishna Hari Banskota, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) secretary Dr. Ganesh Raj Joshi, Secretary at the Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) Lilamani Paudel, Director General of Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI) Shanta Bahadur Shrestha along with other government officials.

After a discussion with them, the PAC directed the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Finance Ministry to revoke the licenses of the casinos within 15 days if they do not deposit the royalty amount. This is the PAC’s fourth directive in the last 12 months in this regard.

“Casinos that do not bother to comply with the law do not deserve to continue operations. Hence, we have asked the government to shut them down within 15 days,” said Ram Krishna Yadav, chairman of PAC.

According to the government, only one—Casino Shangri-la—out of 10 casinos operating in the country has cleared taxes. Remaining nine—Casino Anna, Casino Nepal, Casino Royale, Casino Fulbari, Casino Everest, Casino Tara, Casino Venus, Casino Radd and Casino Pokhara Grand—jointly owe over Rs 490 million in royalty and other taxes to the government.

The PAC also asked the concerned authorities to immediately formulate guidelines to regulate the operation of casinos and enforce them within a month.

Again the proposal of extension of CA term for six months

Nov 24, 2011 @ 17:02

The government today afternoon proposed in the Legislature-Parliament for an amendment in the Article 138 (2) of the Interim Constitution for six-month extension of the Constituent Assembly (CA).

The latest three-month term of the CA is expiring on November 29. The CA term has already been extended three times for a total of one and a half years after its original two year term.

Energy Minister Post Bahadur Bogati of the UCPN (Maoist) party tabled the amendment bill in the meeting of the Legislature-Parliament for discussion. If this amendment is done, it will be the 11th amendment to the Interim Constitution.

During discussion, Rastriya Prajantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) legislator Chandra Bahadur Gurung objected of presenting the proposal on the amendment bill, saying that term of the CA should not be extended because only fresh mandate was the alternative to consolidate democracy and people’s supremacy, thereby ending current political imbroglio. However, majority of House members rejected Gurung’s dissent.

The major political parties UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress and CPN (UML) have still not agreed upon as to by how many months the CA term should be extended.

SC says CA term can be extended one last time

Nov 25, 2011 @ 17:47

The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday gave its final verdict and said the Constituent Assembly (CA) term can be extended only one more time. If the new constitution could not be drafted even within the extended deadline, then either go for referendum or hold another election to the Constituent Assembly, the SC ordered.

A full bench comprising Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi and Justices Damodar Prasad Sharma, Rajkumar Prasad Sah, Kalyan Shrestha and Prem Sharma also asked the defendants to decide the duration of the extension before final extension of the CA. The Prime Minister’s Office, Office of the President, CA, CA chairman, parliament and Ministry of Law and Justice are the defendants in the case.

Advocate-duo Bal Krishna Neupane and Bharat Jungum had filed a writ petition in September arguing that it was completely unconstitutional and illegitimate to extend the CA term against the Article 64 of the Interim Constitution.

Current term of the CA will expire on November 30.

Nepal, India sign DTAA to avoid double taxation

Nov 27, 2011 @ 17:17

Nepal and India on Sunday afternoon signed the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), replacing the old Agreement signed in 1987 here at Prime Minister’s Office, Singha Durbar.

The DTAA signed by Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun and his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee in the presence of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai is aimed at facilitating exchange of information on banking between the two countries and to help prevent tax evasion.

According to the Indian Finance Minister Mukherjee, “The revised DTAA will provide tax stability to the residents of India and Nepal and facilitate mutual economic cooperation as well as stimulate the flow of investment, technology and services between India and Nepal.

This is the short one-day visit of Mukherjee who arrived here in the Capital in the morning and returning in the evening.

Bomb at UML office in Nepalgunj

Nov 28, 2011 @ 14:48

A time bomb was found at a corner on the way to lavatory of the CPN -UML’s party office in Nepalgunj, Banke, on Monday afternoon.

A bomb disposal squad of the Nepal Army defused the bomb, wrapped in a red cloth, at around 3:30.

A man identifying himself as the cadre of the Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha informed the media persons about the bomb and claimed responsibility, reports said.

CA term extended once again for six months

Nov 29, 2011 @ 17:12

The Constituent Assembly has been extended by another six months on Tuesday. This is the fourth extension of the CA term (see news above).

The Legislature-Parliament endorsed the 11th constitution amendment bill proposed by the government seeking a six-month extension of the CA term with a majority vote. (refer another news in this page)

Out of the 508 lawmakers present at the House session, 505 voted in favour of the bill, while three lawmakers representing Rastriya Prajatantra party Nepal (RPP-Nepal) led by pro-monarch Kamal Thapa voted against the bill.

The present term of the CA is expiring tomorrow.

Bird flu found in the valley

Nov 29, 2011 @ 17:45

Authorities have confirmed an outbreak of Bird flu in the valley on Tuesday.

The Veterinary Epidemiology Center in Tripureshwor confirmed the avian flu-bird flu at a local poultry farm owned by Chandra Bahadur Tamang, situated on the banks of Manahara in Madhyapur Thimi Municipality in Bhaktapur district.

After the death of 35 chickens few days ago, Tamang had complained at the office of the livestock services.

Due to the lack of lab facility in the country, the laboratory has send sample to UK for the final confirmation after conducting preliminary lab test here that has confirmed the outbreak of Bird flu.

Department of Livestock Services under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has sent an expert team to take necessary works to prevent the spread of disease.

Meanwhile, over 500 chickens and ducks have been killed in the area.

Two jailed for bribing SP Ramesh Kharel

Nov 30, 2011 @ 15:16

The Special Court on Wednesday announced prison term of seven days and fine of Rs. 25,000 each to two individuals for trying to bribe Superintendent of Police (SP) Ramesh Kharel last year.

A division bench of judges Gauri Bahadur Karki, Om Prakash Mishra and Kedar Prasad Chalise issued the verdict.

Sunil Kumar Shrestha of Sindhupalchok and Krishna Prasad Jati of Bhaktapur were arrested with the money on September 29, 2010, while trying to bribe SP Kharel, for a recommendation for their people to recruit in Nepal Police.

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