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The Controversial Arrest of Kailash Sirohiya

On 21st May, Nepal Police, acting on a warrant issued by the Dhanusha District Court, arrested Kailash Sirohiya, Chairman of Kantipur Media Group. They arrested Sirohiya to investigate allegations concerning irregularities in his citizenship certificate. The manner and motivations behind the arrest have since become subjects of intense debate. In this article, we’ll explore the facts of the controversial arrest of Kailash Sirohiya.

The Allegations and Sirohiya’s Response

Sirohiya is facing six allegations, all connected to discrepancies in his citizenship documentation. Specifically, Sirohiya had a citizenship certificate numbered 39698886. He issued the citizenship from the District Administration Office in Dhanusha. But another individual, Shivaji Sah Teli already held the citizenship of that number. Further, his siblings hold naturalized citizenship. So, questions have been raised regarding why Sirohiya was granted citizenship by descent. Additionally, other allegations involve the absence of an exact date of birth, missing official signatures in record books, and incomplete documentation.

The Controversial Arrest of Kailash Sirohiya
source: The Kathmandu Post

Sirohiya has countered these accusations, asserting that they are administrative errors rather than criminal acts. Senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi supports this viewpoint, arguing that administrative mistakes should not result in criminal prosecution. He emphasized that the Citizenship Act differentiates between criminal offenses, which can incur jail time or fines, and administrative errors, which do not carry such penalties.

Legal experts have criticized the necessity and manner of Sirohiya’s arrest, suggesting that it was not justified. Advocate Raju Prasad Chapagain remarked that Sirohiya posed no risk of tampering with evidence or fleeing, and thus his arrest was unnecessary. Sirohiya, a respected figure with strong familial and business ties in Nepal, had expressed his readiness to cooperate with the investigation if summoned.

Also, check out the story of Bhutanese refugees in Nepal.

The Controversial Arrest of Kailash Sirohiya
source: Epardafas.com

These experts argue that the arrest was politically motivated, orchestrated by Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane in retaliation for Kantipur Media Group’s reporting on his alleged misconducts, including holding dual citizenship and financial irregularities. Chapagain stated that such actions by the authorities could erode public confidence in the judicial system and reveal potential misuse of power.

Sirohiya’s Detailed Defense

In his defense, Sirohiya released a ten-point statement. He asserted that the complaint against him was politically driven, pointing out that the complainant, Indrajit Mahato, appeared to have connections with political figures, including Home Minister Lamichhane. Sirohiya maintained that he holds only one citizenship certificate and refuted the claim that he possesses multiple certificates. He argued that any errors in citizenship records are the responsibility of the issuing authorities.

Sirohiya explained that his citizenship by descent was lawful, as he was born after his father had obtained Nepali citizenship. He clarified discrepancies in his documents, stating that the issues were due to clerical errors rather than intentional deceit.

The Controversial Arrest of Kailash Sirohiya
source: The Kathmandu Post

Broader Implications of Sirohiya’s case

The arrest of Kailash Sirohiya has significant implications for Nepal’s legal and political framework. The handling of Sirohiya’s case suggests possible misuse of state power and raises concerns about political interference in judicial matters. Tripathi noted that the arrest seemed to be driven by malice rather than legal necessity.

Legal experts argue that Sirohiya should have been allowed to respond to the allegations without being arrested, especially since there was no risk of evidence tampering or flight. This case highlights the need for transparency and fairness in legal proceedings to maintain public trust in the justice system.

kailash sirohiya
source: The Power News

Summary

In summary, Kailash Sirohiya’s arrest underscores the tension between politics, media, and justice in Nepal. As the investigation proceeds, the authorities need to conduct it impartially, ensuring that justice prevails without political bias or influence. This controversial arrest of Kailash Sirohiya is sparking conversations everywhere. What do you think about it?

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