THT 10 YEARS AGO: CIAA summons ex-CoAS Gen Pyar Jung Thapa

Kathmandu, March 28, 2007

Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) today summoned former Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) of Nepal Army, Pyar Jung Thapa.

The anti-graft body summoned Thapa, who was found guilty of misusing state coffers by the Rayamajhi panel, to present himself before the CIAA within seven days to record his statement.

A CIAA commissioner told this daily that the Rayamajhi panel had indicted him for misusing about Rs 19.1 million during the Jana Andolan-II as he had withdrawn the amount in several instalments in a day from the bank “with the intention to suppress pro-democracy agitators.” The CIAA has taken the step as the Interim Constitution 2007 has given it the authority to investigate and prosecute the army official for misusing the taxpayers’ money.

The COAS was permitted to spend Rs 25,000 per day but the Rayamajhi Commission found that he had withdrawn Rs 25,000 150 times on one day and 129 times on another day when the Jana Andolan-II was on its peak.

The Rayamajhi Commission also found him guilty of killing and suppressing people, as he was the chief of the Unified Command. He was also charged with imposing censorship on media and violating human rights.

The CIAA today moved the Supreme Court challenging the clean chit given to former minister and NC MP Khum Bahadur Khadka by the Special Court. The CIAA claimed that the verdict issued by the Special Court was wrong.

The CIAA claimed that he had accumulated property worth Rs 23 million illegally during his tenure. It has sought to get back the amount from him, demanding five-year jail term for him.

Devyani returns as Indian bride

Kathmandu, March 28, 2007

Devyani Singh nee Rana, who got married to an Indian minister’s grandson, Aishwarya Singh, last month in New Delhi, arrived here today to attend a reception for friends, family members and acquaintances who were not able to attend the fairy tale wedding.

Her father, Rastriya Prajatantra Party chairman Pashupati Shumshere JB Rana, confirmed the news that his daughter and son-in-law were in the capital. “We have invited people from all walks of life for the reception ceremony,” said Rana, who was in no mood to “shed light on the VVIPs who would be there.”

It is believed that the reception will be attended by King Gyanendra and other members of the royal family. Devyani tied nuptial knot with Aishwarya Singh, grandson of India’s Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh, in February. Over 6,000 guests, including the Ranas’ friends, politicians, the Who’s Who of Nepali society and journalists, have been invited to the reception to be held at the Army Club on Friday.

There will be another bash for very close friends and family members at Soaltee Crowne Plaza on Saturday.