THT 10 YEARS AGO: Alleged kidney racket kingpin in net

Kathmandu, February 7, 2008

A special team of the Kathmandu police today arrested an Indian national said to be the main accused in the sensational Kidney racket which has making the headlines in India from a jungle resort in southern Nepal close to the Indian border.

Police sources told The Himalayan Times here this evening that they tracked down the Indian national alleged to be Dr Amit Kumar to a jungle resort camp in southern town of Sauraha about 60km from the Indian border town of Raxaul. Sources said Dr Kumar and his Nepali associate checked into Room Number 6 of the Hotel Wildlife Camp around 10 am this morning under assumed Nepali names. Dr Kumar checked in as Manish Singh. Soon after checking in the duo asked to see a copy of the English daily The Himalayan Times which had front-paged a report on the kidney racket and about the presence of the main accused in Nepal.

The sources said that Dr Kumar cut out the story and returned the newspaper to the reception. Eyewitnesses who saw Dr Kumar said that he was sporting a hat and sunglasses. They said a short while later a police team reached the hotel and began enquiring about the guests. The policemen showed the receptionist a picture of Dr Kumar and sought to know whether was staying in the hotel.

Even as the receptionist made a positive identification, the Nepali associate of Dr Kumar fled from the hotel. The police team then rushed to the room and formally arrested Dr Kumar.

The doctor who has been on the run ever since Indian TV channels broke the kidney racket story apparently did not resist when he was being handcuffed.

This isn’t democracy, says king

Kathmandu, February 7, 2008

King Gyandendra has broken a long silence and challenged the recent decision of the parliament to abolish the monarchy after the Constituent Assembly election slated for April 10.

“The decision doesn’t reflect the majority view of the people,” leading Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun quoted the king as saying while speaking to several Japanese reporters at the royal palace recently. “This isn’t democracy.” The King was apparently speaking in reference to a recent nationwide survey released February 1 in Kathamndu by Interdisciplinary Analysts that some 49.3 per cent favoured the continuation of monarchy in some form in the ‘new Nepal.’ “The people have the right to choose the fate of the monarchy,” the daily quoted the king as stating.

“A majority of the people find great meaning in the institution of the monarchy. In all clouds, there is a silver lining. Let us hope.”

“Some leaders have tried to take action that was against cultural, social and traditional values,” Gyanendra said, in an apparent criticism of the Maoist party leadership, which is in the forefront of moves to abolish the monarchy, according to the daily.