‘Over 30 Bhutanese nationals obtained Nepali citizenship’

KATHMANDU (The Kathmandu Post/ANN) - More than 30 Bhutanese nationals received Nepali citizenship certificates from the Area Administration Office in Chandranigahapur of Rautahat 12 years ago, providing false details. The incident came to light only after District Police Office arrested one Thakur Prasad Neupane in Gaur two years ago.                                  

More than 30 Bhutanese nationals received Nepali citizenship certificates from the Area Administration Office in Chandranigahapur of Rautahat 12 years ago, providing false details. The incident came to light only after District Police Office arrested one Thakur Prasad Neupane in Gaur two years ago.

A team deployed in the then Jingadiya VDC had provided citizenship certificates to the Bhutanese people, said Kiran Nidhi Tiwari, who was working as administrative officer in the Area Administration Office at the time.

According to him, the team distributed citizenship certificates by descent to 63 people. Out of them, more than 30 were Bhutanese. “They had submitted fake documents while obtaining citizenship certificates,” said Tiwari.

During an inquiry, police found out that Neupane, a Bhutanese national, had obtained the Nepali citizenship by descent from Chandranigahapur. He told police that he obtained the citizenship by paying Rs18,000 to team members.

The findings have shocked the locals of in Jingadiya who belong to the Muslim, Sah, Chamar, Baniya, Kanu and Yadav communities. “But the team distributed citizenship certificates to more than 30 Bhutanese people, who were Gautam, Bhattarai, Timilsina, Neupane, Acharya, Paudel and Karki,” said Shekh Abdul, a local Musliam man, adding that Jingadiya does not have people from the hill communities.

The citizenship certificates are believed to have been issued to the Bhutanese people on the recommendation of the then VDC secretary. But there is no mention of the secretary in the documents. Other documents, including the filled-in application forms, are missing. However, the District Administration Office said that all documents were submitted in the Area Administration Office, Chandranigahapur.

The employees of the Area Administration Office said a citizenship register is the only thing they have.

Four Chief District Officers (CDOs) have completed their tenures since the Bhutanese national was arrested with the Nepali citizenship in Gaur. But none of them cared to investigate into the incident.

Stating it as a “serious issue”, current CDO Uddhav Bahadur Thapa assured that he would ask the the Area Administration Office, Chandranigahapur about the matter.

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