Many elected officials in Karnali Province are facing graft and power abuse charges, data showsAs per the data available at the CIAA provincial office in Birendranagar, complaints have been filed against the representatives of all the local units of the province.
Mallatasi Gurung, the vice-chairman of Dolpo Buddha Rural Municipality in Dolpa district, has been remanded in judicial custody for the past seven months on the charge of idol smuggling. Ward chairman of Dolpo Buddha Ward No 5, Karma Gurung, is also in police custody on the same charge, said Deputy Superintendent of Police in Dolpa Narayan Ranjitkar.
A few weeks ago, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) arrested Krishna Bahadur KC, chairman of Junichande Rural Municipality of Jajarkot district, on graft charge from Surkhet. He was caught red-handed while receiving
Rs 800,000 bribe to approve a development project carried out by a consumers’ committee.
A number of elected people’s representatives in Karnali Province have been accused of various illegal and criminal activities.
“Most of the people’s representatives have been accused of embezzling government budget, abusing power and authority and misbehaving with the locals,” said Ranjitkar.
There are altogether 79 local units in 10 districts of Karnali Province. As per the data available at the CIAA provincial office in Birendranagar, complaints have been filed against the representatives of all the local units of the province.
Mallatasi and Karma, who had been acquitted by the Dolpa District Court, were rearrested after the High Court overturned the District Court’s verdict and ordered to take them into judicial custody.
According to Ranjitkar, 37 Buddha idols carrying historic and archaeological significance were stolen from various places in Dolpo Buddha a few months ago. “The case is pending in the High Court,” said Ranjitkar.
According to him, the local people have been deprived of receiving services easily from the local units as their representatives are in custody.
According to the CIAA office in Surkhet, 392 complaints were registered against the people’s representatives and the local units in the first six months of the current fiscal year. Dailekh tops the list of the complaints with 86 cases. Similarly, 57 complaints were registered in Surkhet, 50 in Kalikot, 44 in Jajarkot, 36 in Jumla, 33 in Salyan, 32 in Rukum (West), 21 in Mugu, 19 in Humla.
“A number of complaints related to the local units are about the use of shoddy materials during the construction works and irregularities in contract bids and payment for construction projects,” said Sheshnarayan Paduel, chief at the CIAA Surkhet office.