Kathmandu, September 17 Nepali Congress Central Committee member Pradip Paudel was detained at Hanedo Airport of Japan for seven hours by Japanese immigration officials and sent back to Nepal. According to DP Kandel, Chair of Japanese Chapter of Nepali Janasamparka Samiti — a diaspora association of the Nepali Congress — Paudel was questioned by Japanese immigration officials at the airport before being sent back to Nepal. Anil Neupane, a journalist, who was also travelling to Japan with Paudel, was also detained and sent back to Nepal. However, NC lawmaker Dhan Raj Gurung, who was travelling with them, was allowed to enter Japan as he possessed a diplomatic passport, said Kandel. Both Paudel and Gurung had obtained visa from the Embassy of Japan in Kathmandu, according to Kandel. Kandel said Paudel was sent back from the airport as his Nepali sponsor was not in Japan yesterday. Immigration officials wanted his sponsor to come to the airport to receive Paudel. Although NJS wanted to invite Paudel to a political programme, it managed to have a different sponsor for Paudel mainly because the Japanese authorities have negative views about political programmes, Kandel said. NC headquarters Secretary Krishna Prasad Paudel said Pradip Paudel had gone to Japan to take part in a programme to be organised by the party’s sister wing, but the headquarters had no information about Paudel being sent back from the airport. NJS Japan issued a press release saying its attention was drawn to false media reports about NC leader Paudel’s journey.