Katahariya mayor, 20 others fined for citizenship fraud

Rautahat, January 2

Rautahat District Court has slapped fine against 21 persons, including Katahariya Municipality Mayor Siyaram Prasad Kushawaha in connection with a citizenship-related fraud.

According to court Registrar Gunaraj Parajulee, a single bench of district judge Umanath Gautam on Monday issued the verdict on a four-year-old case in which two Indian nationals had obtained Nepali citizenship certificates fraudulently. The court slapped a fine of 25,000 rupees each on Mayor Kushawaha and 20 others for abetting the fraud.

“The court has also revoked the Nepali citizenship certificates obtained by the Indian nationals and slapped them with a fine of Rs 50,000 each,” said Parajulee, adding that the full details of the verdict are, however, yet to come.

Further, the registrar informed that the verdict was issued in response to an FIR filed by Kathmandu’s Santa Bahadur Shrestha about four years ago that two Indian nationals, namely Hafij Dewan, aged 68, and Oli Mahamad Dewan Fakir, 55, from Purbi Champaran in the Indian state of Bihar had managed to procure Nepali citizenship certificate by presenting fake documents.

The duo’s father Mir Hasan Dewan Fakir is temporarily residing in Rautahat’s Hathiyahi.

Besides the mayor, various other cadres of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) such as then CPN-UML representative Kishori Prasad Kushawaha, Katahariya Ward No 3 then UML party representative Binod Karna, Ward No 2 then CPN-MC representative Punit Thakur who have been implicated in the case, for their role in either recommending or signing as witness for citizenship.

According to sources, Hafij and Oli Mohamad on 11 March 2007 had obtained Nepali citizenship with registration numbers 323065/21 and 323065/28 respectively on the basis of the (fake) details furnished when a mobile team was deployed by the District Administration Office of Rautahat to distribute citizenship certificates to those who still lacked them in the fiscal 2006/07.