Anti-graft body arrests seven persons in two days


The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has conducted six sting operations leading to the arrest of seven persons in various parts of the country in the past two days.

The CIAA took into custody two persons with bribe amount Rs 500,000, they allegedly received on behalf of Suryanath Mandal, mayor of Kalyanpur Municipality, Siraha district yesterday. Those arrested are Santa Kumar Mandal and Jitendra Mahato. Joint Secretary Pradip Kumar Koirala, CIAA spokesperson said the anti-graft body sprung into action acting on a tip-off that Mayor Mandal had deputed Santa Kumar and Jitendra to Lahan Municipality-22 to receive the bribe from a service seeker. Santa Kumar is the son of Mayor Mandal.

According to the CIAA, Mayor Mandal had solicited the bribe for sanction of the payment of a detailed project report for a construction work. The CIAA has yet to arrest the mayor.

The anti-graft body arrested Milan Adhikari, an engineer at the office of Dhorpatan Municipality, Baglung, in the act of receiving a bribe of Rs 100,000 from a service-seeker. The CIAA said he was held from a hotel in Pokhara Metropolitan City. He had sought the bribe for providing payment of a road project.

In yet another sting operation, the CIAA held Siddharaj Joshi, a non-gazetted first class officer at the office of Joshipur Rural Municipality, Kalali. He was taken into custody with Rs 8,500 in bribe he had received from a service seeker.

He had allegedly demanded the bribe for releasing the budget for a skill development training to be provided for the locals as part of employment generation programme.

Narayankaji Shrestha, divisional head of Water Resources and Irrigation Development Division Office, Diktel, Khotang was arrested for receiving a bribe of Rs 934,000. According to the CIAA, he demanded the bribe for bill clearance of an under-construction irrigation project.

The CIAA arrested Hukum Bahadur Oli, an officer at Nepalgunj-based Cottage and Small Industries Office with a bribe of Rs 96,300 from his office chamber and Krishna Ballav Thakur, a non-gazetted officer at Saptari-based Land Reforms and Land Revenue Office while receiving Rs 13,000 in bribe.

Despite repeated warnings by the CIAA against the public post holders about its intensified sting operation, bribery continues unabated at government offices.

The CIAA said it has been mobilising its staffers in corruption-prone public offices, posing as service seekers for integrity test of the concerned officials.

Micro-surveillance and rapid action procedures have been implemented to swing into action against government employees involved in irregularities and corruption. It is expected to improve the public service delivery system by controlling corrupt tendencies of officials, said the anti-graft body.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 17, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.