Long-battered NOC row deepens

Lalitpur, March 21

A group of government-recognised Nepal Olympic Committee entered the NOC building today with the help of security forces.

Acting President Kishor Bahadur Singh and members Dawa Gurung, Bijendra Hamal, Narayan Dev Rana, Purna Singh Bohara and Lal Kumar Lama among others broke the lock of the building and captured the office.

Rukma Shumsher Rana is the President of the committee, which has been struggling to capture the NOC since the Supreme Court verdict came five years ago. Rana, who was not present today, said the group had no intention of doing the day-to-day jobs at the NOC. “Everything they did today was under the law of the land and Singh was more aware of the development as I have assigned him with all the responsibilities,” he added.

NOC, led by Jeevan Ram Shrestha, has been recognised by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is running the Olympic movement in the country.

Rana-led faction had locked the office on January 24. On Sunday, Shrestha-led faction entered the office. The fresh row began after Ministry of Defense wrote to its departments to implement the apex court decision and Rana-led faction tried to seal the NOC building with the help of police.

Shrestha-led faction claimed that the recent controversy appeared due to government’s interference. “If the government will not take its decision back, Nepal’s international participation will be under clouds and it will ruin players’ future. There is only one NOC and it runs as per the regulations of OAC and IOC,” said Shrestha.

Meanwhile, Rana-faction’s Singh said the faction will develop Nepal’s sports with the help of all the sports associations. “International recognition will not hamper sports development. We have already informed IOC about the government’s decision and the final decision will come soon,” said Singh.

The controversy dates back to the 2007 NOC elections when a couple of officials from Rana-led faction moved the court challenging the change of guard. Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan served as president

for two terms before Shrestha defeated Umesh Lal Shrestha

to become the NOC president in 2015.