Two people arrested in connection with the Baluwatar land grab case have been released on guarantee.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police Dinesh Kumar Acharya at the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police, the then chief of Samarjung Company Ramesh Kumar Pokharel and Siddhika Khetan were released on Wednesday.
SSP Acharya said that Pokharel was released on guarantee as he is not well.
The CIB released Khetan after investigations did not find her to have played any role in the land grab. Khetan has nearly eight annas of government land at Baluwatar registered in her name.
SSP Acharya said that she was released after agreeing to return the land.
“She has nearly eight annas of land in her name. She had been kept only because the land was found in her name. She does not seem to be involved in any other crime. We released her as she had filed an application saying she would return the land,” SSP Acharya said.
The CIB now has 20 people in custody after the release of Pokharel and Khetan.
Bhatbhateni Supermarket promoter Min Bahadur Gurung, former election commissioner Sudheer Kumar Shah, Dharma Prasad Gautam, former chief of Samarjung Company Lok Hari Ghimire, fake tenant Dev Narayan Maharjan, the then survey officer Dhruba Aryal and Gopal Karki are currently in CIB’s custody.
Similarly, the then ward secretary of Kathmandu Metropolitan City-5 Shivaji Bhattarai, fake tenant Baburaja Maharjan, the then Survey Office employee Ghaman Kumar Karki, the then assistant accountant of Samarjung Company Binod Paudel, the then senior divisional engineer at the Ministry of Physical Planning Bal Krishna Shrestha, the then director general of Department of Land Management Rudra Prasad Shrestha, the then Land Revenue Office employees Yograj Paudel, Narayan Das Mishra, Sakulnanda Maharjan and Sanjay Maharjan are in police custody over their alleged involvement in the land grab scam.
Keshav Tuladhar was initially arrested in connection with the fake Bhutanese refugees scam. The CIB arrested him in the land grab case soon after the Kathmandu District Court released him on bail.
The CIB had also arrested the then chief of Dilli Bazar Land Revenue Office Kaladhar Deuja in the land grab case on June 27. But Deuja was released after it emerged that he and 16 others had already obtained stay orders against their arrest.
The CIB had then applied with the Supreme Court for vacation of the stay orders. Deuja was arrested again following the Supreme Court’s order.
Similarly, police had arrested the then Survey Department employee Arun Kumar Shrestha in connection with the land grab.
The CIB had also arrested Krishna Bahadur Raut, secretary at the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. Raut had then filed a habeas corpus petition at the Supreme Court. He was released after the apex court issued a mandamus ordering that he be released on date pointing lack of reasons to keep him in custody.
A total of 143 annas of land at Lalita Niwas at Baluwatar is found to have been transferred in the names of various individuals in different periods of time.