Kathmandu: Kanak Mani Dixit, a well-known Nepalese journalist considered well-disposed towards India, was arrested by an anti-graft body in Nepal for allegedly misappropriating a huge amount of money by misusing his public post.
Dixit, who is also a rights activist and the Chairman of Sajha Yatayat – the public transportation bus system in Nepal which serves Kathmandu Valley, was arrested from his Patan residence near here by a team of around 20 police personnel deployed by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).
The anti-graft body has been probing the property details of Dixit on suspicion of “amassing property disproportionate to his known source of income”. Dixit, 60, had been ignoring summons by the constitutional anti-graft body and was “on the run”, according to the CIAA.
“We have arrested the Sajha Yatayat Chairman Dixit not the journalist to investigate his involvement in corruption,” said CIAA spokesperson Krishna Hari Pushkar.
In a statement issued today, the watchdog said Dixit has been arrested on the basis of complaints received against him that he misused his public position as the chairman of Sajha Yatayat to accumulate property illegally.
He has been arrested as the property details submitted to the CIAA do not match the actual property registered in his and his family members’ names, according to the statement.
The body said that further facts and evidence were found against Dixit in the course of investigation and was arrested after he repeatedly ignored the requests by the investigation officer to be present at the CIAA.
Other complaints registered at the CIAA against Dixit are that he has deposited money at domestic and foreign banks in his and his family members’ names by embezzling the Sajha Yatayat’s property.
He is accused of selling the organisational property as own inheritance and investing the income in other corporations. He has also been alleged to have procured a house and land in his name in the US. The total amount of alleged embezzlement was not known.
The civil society leader, however, told local media after the arrest that the move was following an undemocratic decision of CIAA chief Lokman Singh Karki.
Dixit, the publisher of Himal and Nepali Times magazines who is considered well-disposed towards India and also writes for leading India media outlets, said he has been kept at the custody in CIAA central office in Tangal of Kathmandu.
In the course of investigation, the anti-graft body had summoned him on December 3, 2015 following which Dixit challenged the move at the Supreme Court.
The commission has said that it has been carrying out further investigations on the allegations against him by taking him into custody.
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