Some Nepali Congress (NC) lawmakers met party president Sher Bahadur Deuba after the arrest of NC central member and former home minister Bal Krishna Khand in connection with the fake Bhutanese refugees scam last week.
Khand was arrested along with his personal secretary Narendra KC from his residence in Chabahil, Kathmandu on May 10. Police have moved the investigation ahead after arresting him. The Kathmandu District Court on Sunday extended Khand’s custody by four days starting Saturday.
NC lawmakers Nagina Kumari Yadav, Kantika Sejuwal, Rupa BK, Sushila Thing and Sita Rana, who are considered close to Khand, met Deuba at his residence in Dhumbarahi of Kathmandu the day after Khand’s arrest to discuss the issue.
“After Khand was arrested, we had gone to inquire about the issue with the president,” one of the lawmakers who met Deuba told Setopati. “We asked the president what the matter was as leaders were being arrested.”
According to the lawmaker, Yadav and Sejuwal had taken the initiative to meet Deuba and discuss the issue. “We were only present [in the meeting], Yadav and Sejuwal talked to the president,” the lawmaker said.
In reply, Deuba told the lawmakers that they need not be concerned over the issue and that it would move ahead according to procedure.
“You don’t have to say anything on this issue. Whatever happens, happens. Whatever has come out regarding this issue, it’s not like that,” the lawmaker quoted Deuba as saying in the meeting. “He has said that this matter will move ahead according to procedure.”
The lawmakers also inquired whether other leaders would also be dragged into the scam.
The issue was also discussed during the meeting of past and present NC office-bearers. Office-bearers from the anti-establishment faction have been calling for Khand’s suspension while those from the Deuba camp have been insisting that Khand should not be suspended as he has only been accused.
Talking briefly to journalists on Sunday, Khand denied his involvement in the scam.
CPN-UML Secretary Top Bahadur Rayamajhi has been absconding after an arrest warrant was issued for him on May 3 in connection with the scam. UML has already suspended him as party secretary.
Police have so far arrested 12 people including former home minister Ram Bahadur Thapa’s security advisor Indrajit Rai and former home secretary Tek Narayan Pandey for their alleged involvement in the scam.