Who carried out sting against Pathak?

Kathmandu, February 22

The duo who launched series of sting operations to expose corruption case of Rs 7.8 million involving former commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Raj Narayan Pathak have been identified.

The person who took videos that forced Pathak to resign from the CIAA is Dhwajman Moktan, a karate player who won gold medal in the 8th South Asian Games. And the person who assigned Moktan to carry out sting operations is Gyanendra Jha, former personal secretary of Rastriya Janata Party leader Mahanta Thakur.

Pathak stepped down from the CIAA after parts of the hours-long videos taken by Moktan were made public. The videos were also shown to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

The videos show Pathak accepting bribes of Rs 7.8 million in instalments. The bribe was handed over by Jha to settle a corruption case lodged at the CIAA against a number of board members of Changunarayan-based Nepal Engineering College, who had made “illegal” attempts to transform the public educational institution into private.

Jha is said to have taken money from Lambodar Neupane, one of the board members of the engineering college who was trying to register the engineering college as a private educational institution, to settle the CIAA case. But now he has changed his version of the story.

Jha, a resident of Mahottari district, told THT that he was only acting as a mule of Shubha Narayan Pathak, brother of former CIAA Commissioner Raj Narayan Pathak, to hand over bribe of Rs 7.8 million to Raj Narayan.

“I was coerced by Shubha Narayan to hand over the money to settle the corruption case lodged at the CIAA,” Jha claimed.

According to Jha, he had given Shubha Narayan a loan of Rs 1.5 million. “When I asked him to return the money, he asked me to open a college and told me he’d help me to get that college affiliated with Purbanchal University where he was working as a dean,” Jha claimed. “But neither did he keep his promise nor did he return my money. Instead, he asked me to get in touch with Neupane and work as a mule to transport the bribe money of Rs 7.8 million to (former) CIAA commissioner Raj Narayan.”

Jha also claimed that he was asked to continue working as a mule, despite his objections, as Raj Narayan was demanding more money from Neupane. “Raj Narayan threatened to get me arrested if I failed to work as per his orders. He also warned to get Neupane arrested if he failed to supply additional money,” he claimed.

Later, Raj Narayan got Jha arrested twice. “That’s when I sought Moktan’s support to carry out sting operations against Raj Narayan,” said Jha, adding, “I had informed government officials about my plan before carrying out sting operations to avoid legal consequences.”

Neupane could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.