Kathmandu, August 28
The Ministry of Home Affairs has dismissed Armed Police Force DSP Ram Prasad Bhandari from service after being found guilty of timber smuggling.
According to the MoHA, the August 16 secretary-level meeting had taken a decision to this effect. “The MoHA has decided to dismiss APF DSP Bhandari from service, rendering him not disqualified for government services in future pursuant to Clause (7) of Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 115 of the Armed Police Force Rules, 2072 BS,” a press release issued by the ministry stated.
Earlier, Bhandari was suspended after APF Security Base in Dhankuta intercepted a truck (Ba 1 Ga 1669) belonging to APF Nepal Arun Gulma, Sankhuwasabha, with 184 units of saal timber being smuggled to Itahari of Dharan on June 4.
Bhandari was in-charge of the Gulma. Following the seizure of the APF vehicle with illegal timber, the MoHA had formed a probe panel led by a joint secretary on July 2 and asked him to furnish clarification.
“The clarification submitted by Bhandari was not satisfactory and the panel found him to have been involved in tarnishing the image of the security agency in contravention of the official duties and responsibilities assigned to him,” the release stated. He had smuggled timber in a planned way by hiding the issue from others and higher-up agencies. The probe panel had also conducted an on-site study in connection with the case.
According to APF headquarters, 210 personnel, including three senior officials, faced departmental action for their involvement in unethical activities, indiscipline and poor performance in the past three months (May-July).
The security agency dismissed two personnel while others faced punishment like halt in promotion and decrease in grade.
A version of this article appears in print on August 29, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.