Deaths, fires and controversies sum up Nepal’s 2017

Published On: December 31, 2017 10:45 AM NPT

As the world marks a New Year, Republica Online looked back into Nepal in 2017 to bring a comprehensive year digest. Five noted persons passed away this year and the death of 10 year girl after falling into drainage during monsoon caused outrage in Kathmandu. The Prime Minister did order the government to fix all potholes within 15 days but the order saw weak implementation. The country also mourned deaths of three fire fighters in Super Gas Industry, Birgunj, a temporary police in Kalikot and those deceased in accidents across the country, including the Trishuli bus plunge.

In Kathmandu valley, pollution continues to choke its residents; home to more than three million people has turned into Mask-mandu. Then, there were controversies, political and social. The latest was Rani Pokhari where Deputy Mayor of Kathmandu locked the ancient pond and the Mayor rushed to break the lock. After meeting with the Department of Archeology, the Mayor has now decided to reconstruct the ancient pond as per its original Malla architect.

Corruption cases, impeachments, plagiarism and sacking of top officials also ruled the year.

The local level elections, which took place after almost two decades was one of the major political milestones. This was followed by the two elections; federal and provincial assembly elections in November and December. The political deadlock, caused by debate between the CPN-UML and Nepali Congress, on the National Assembly Election Ordinance was finally resolved after the President Bidhya Devi Bhandari authenticated it on December 29.

With sports, apart from Nepal winning the first international wheelchair cricket tournament, there was less achievements. Nepal dropped a rank in the FIFA ranking and cricket teams achieved little. Here, Republica Online sums up 2017, enlisting major events that shaped Nepal’s year every month.  


Yama Buddha commits suicide

Famous Nepali rapper Anil Adhikari, widely known as Yama Buddha, was found dead in his bathroom, apparently, a suicide, in Northern London.

Lokman Singh Karki removed as Cheif of CIAA

Less than two weeks into the new year,  the Supreme Court ruled that Lokman Singh Karki was not qualified to head the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), for reasons of academic credentials and past record. Karki, who had managed to land the top job at the anti-graft watchdog at a time when parliament was not in session, was also accused of abusing his authority to silence opponents. 

Impeachment motion against Supreme Court Cheif Justice 

The ruling Nepali Congress and the CPN (Maoist Center) registered an impeachment motion against Supreme Court Chief Justice Sushila Karki. It was Chief Justice Karki who had ruled anti-graft chief Karki unqualified, and in doing so earned the goodwill of the public. In the impeachment motion against the chief justice that was tabled in parliament out of the blue, the ruling parties made various accusations against her,  including promoting groups and undermining the functioning of the executive.


Anjali Lama walks the ramp for Lakme Fashion Week

Anjali Lama, who has made a name for herself in the Nepalese fashion industry, became the first Nepali transgender model to walk the ramp for Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Summer/Resort 2017 at JioGarden, Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai. Lama’s struggle has been documented in "Anjali -- Living Inside Someone Else's Skin", a film based on transsexual lives.


The fire at Magic Footwear Industry in Tankisunawari of Morang was doused after 13 hours. The fire gutted seven buildings of the factory and goods worth Rs. 500 million were destroyed. The fire started after a transformer exploded in the factory. 

Jaya Bahadur Chand appointment as IGP of Police annulled  

The Supreme Court (SC) annulled the government’s decision to appoint Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Jaya Bahadur Chand as the Inspector General of Nepal Police. The government later recommended Prakash Aryal. Nepal’s Supreme Court upheld the government’s decision to appoint Prakash Aryal as the country’s police chief, laying rest a bitter row between the judiciary and the executive wings of the state.A ‘full bench’ of the court, headed by Chief Justice Gopal Prasd Parajuly scrapped a writ petition filed by DIG Nawaraj Silwal challenging the appointment of Aryal to the post.


Honking barred in Kathmandu  

From Baishak 1, 2074, Nepali New Year, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City brought a rule of ‘no horns in Kathmandu’ except in an emergency case. The ‘No Horn Please’ rule will took into effect to control sound pollution in the Capital.


Nepal holds its local level election after almost two decades

After almost two decades, the first phase of local level election took place. Residents from three provinces; 3, 4 and 6, voted in the first phase. This was followed by second phase election on June 14. The federal and provincial assembly elections of November 26 and December 6 succeeded the local level elections. 73% voted in local level elections and 65% in federal and provincial assembly elections.  

Min Bahadur Sherchan passes away

Min Bahadur Sherchan, the oldest mountaineer of Nepal, passed away due to cardiac arrest at the Everest Base Camp on Saturday evening. He was 86. Sherchan, who hailed from Tatopani in Myagdi, left Kathmadu on April 16 to scale the highest summit to reclaim his lost title of the world’s oldest mountaineer to climb Everest. In 2010, Sherchan had climbed Everest at the age of 76 and recorded his name in the Guinness Book of World Records the same year. Five years later, his record was broken by an 80-year-old Japanese national, Yuichiro Miura.  

Marshall Julum Shakya dies

Democratic leader Marshal Julum Shakya, 77, passed away in Grande Hospital, Kathmandu. Shakya was suffering from heart and kidney ailments for a long time. Shakya was actively involved in the democratic movement of Nepal and served a 15-year-long jail term during Panchayat era. He also went underground for two years during the autocratic regime. He was one of the founding members of Nepal Student Union, the sister organization of Nepali Congress, established in the 1970s.


Chudamani Sharma, DG of Inland Revenue Department arrested  

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) arrested Inland Revenue Department Director General Chudamani Sharma on the charge of multiple involvements in corruption while fixing the tax liabilities of large industrial entities. The complaints against Sharma accused him of corruption to the tune of millions in state funds through waiver of taxes for various firms. Sharma was accused of involvement in not recovering tax from Ncell, in waiving tax for the business community and accumulating property worth millions through abuse of authority.

Ncell pays additional Rs 13.6 billion in CGT  

Ncell paid an additional Rs 13.6 billion to the government as capital gains tax on its share buyout that took place over two years ago.  With Rs. 13.6 billion tax collection, the government received a total of Rs 26.4 billion from Ncell share transfer deal. Malaysian Telecom Giant Axiata had bought 80 percent stakes in Ncell from Swedish Company TeliaSonera at the price of US$1.03 billion. Ncell paid Rs 9.97 billion CGT in May last year.  


Girl dies after falling in drainage  

Ten year Binita Phuyal fell inside awater drainage while finding her in the water logged roads of Nepaltar. Binita was swept down to Mahadev River. After an hour’s search by the police, she was rescued alive. However, she was declared dead by the hospital at around 6:30 pm.

Nilu Doma Sherpa dies  

Film Director Nilu Doma Sherpa has passed away apparently due to cardiac arrest on Saturday morning. Sherpa, a prominent director in Nepali film industry directed ‘How Funny’. Apart from being a director, Sherpa was also a leading advocate for the LGBTIQ community and one of the first openly third-gender persons to make a feature film in Nepal. 


Controversy over Fewa Lake encroachment

Well known tourism entrepreneurs were found to be in the forefront in illegally encroaching on Fewa Lake, in the tourist hub of Pokhara. The Lamichhane Report stated that land mafias had registered a total 1692 ropanis of land belonging to Fewa Lake in their private ownership. Fewa Lake, which spread across 22,000 ropanis of land back in 2018 B.S. has now shrunk to 4.20 square kilometers. Karna Shakya, initiator of 'Positive Thinking' campaign, hotelier Piyush Bahadur Amatya and surgeon Jagadish Lal Baidya are some of the prominent names involved in the encroachment.

Monsoon flood

The Terai flood killed 131 people, injured 30. Another 32 people went missing.  Agriculture sector incurred loss of Rs. 8.11 billion while irrigation systems worth Rs. 2.42 billion were damaged. Thirty one districts (21 in Terai) were severely affected by the flood.


Sajha Prakashan chief sacked over multiple irregularities allegations

The Ministry of Education sacked Dolindra Prasad Sharma, chairman and general manager of the Sajha  Prakashan in allegation of multiple irregularities. Irregularities included appointment of staff close to political leaders and media persons, not carrying out audit after being appointed as GM of Sajha, not maintaining records of annual incomes and book publications, using Sajha logo using in private publishers, transferring   Rs 5 million from Sajha to GM's account, and GM also serving as chairman against the rules. 


5 KU doctors blacklisted for plagiarism  

Bali Medical Journal (BMJ) in Indonesia blacklisted five Kathmandu University doctors and one Indian doctor after learning that a research article published by them in the journal had been lifted from the Nepal Medical College Journal. The plagiarized research paper, which was published in 2013 in the BMJ Volume II, has also been retracted.  The research paper titled 'Association of Thyroid Dysfunction Among Infertile Women Visiting Infertility Center of Om Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal', authored by Dr Bhola Rijal, Dr R Shrestha and Dr Bharat Jha, was copied and presented under the title 'Association of Thyroid Dysfunction Among Infertile Women Visiting Nepalgunj Medical College Hospital, Kohalpur, Nepal' as jointly authored by Dr Mukesh Kumar Shrewastawa, Dr C Thanpari, Dr RK Goit, Dr NK Yadav, Dr RK Mittal and Dr V Rohil.

Trishuli bus accident

Thirty one passengers were killed and 16 sustained injuries when a bus plunged into the Trishuli River in a fatal road mishap that took place in Dhading. The bus (Na 6 Kha 1467) was en route to Kathmandu from Rajbiraj of Saptari when it skidded off the road and plunged into the river at Bangemode, Gajuri Rural Municipality-5 of Dhading.

Thamel becomes frist vehicle free zone in Kathmandu  

With joint efforts of tourism entrepreneurs, local activists, local bodies and Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, Thamel became a no vehicle zone from October. The decision was taken to help tourists and pedestrians get rid of problems caused by increasing traffic in the area. Thamel is one of the busiest tourist hubs in the country.

Sharad Kumar Gauchan shot dead

Chairperson of Federation of Contractors Association of Nepal (FCAN) Sharad Kumar Gauchan was shot dead by an unidentified group in New Baneshwar on Monday afternoon. Samirman Singh Basnyat, the alleged mastermind behind the murder of Gauchan was made public on December. 


National Medical Education Ordinance comes into force

President Bidya Devi Bhandari issued the Medical Education Ordinance recommended by the Mathema taskforce. The Ordinance, which provisioned setting up at least one government-run medical colleges in all seven provinces of the country and places a moratorium on opening new medical colleges in the Kathmandu Valley for the next ten years is a milestone in medical education reform.

Kriti Nidhi Bista passes away

Kriti Nidhi Bista, a three-time prime minister remembered for his life-long stand for national interests and clean public image, passed away in November, 2017. He was 91. Bista served as the country's prime minister three times during the Panchayat system from 1969-1970, 1971-1973 and 1977-1979. Bista is remembered for his integrity and taking a firm stance on national interests in crucial situations. His decisions include

  • Removal of Indian military posts stationed at various places in Nepal.
  • Resignation from the post of prime minister on moral grounds after the main administrative building of the country, Singhadurbar, was destroyed in a fire on July 9, 197.
  • Facing the 1969 Indian blockade without surrendering to Indian pressure.  

Pushpa Kamal Dahal bereaved

Prakash Dahal, the central member of CPN (Maoist Center) and son of Chairperson, Pushpa Kamal Dahal died due to cardiac arrest on November 2017. 


Kalikot Shootout

Violence escalated in Kalikot after the police allegedly shot dead a temporary cop involved in protest on Friday. The temporary police were staging protests in front of the District Police Office (DPO) seeking clarification regarding the misappropriation of their salaries. While trying to disperse the crowd, police reportedly shot dead Bibek Aidi, 20, of Raskot Rural Municipality ward no 2.  

Bagdurbar reconstruction debate

KMC Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya was flanked after his decisions to demolish Bag Durbar and use concrete walls in Rani Pokhari surfaced. The Department of Archaeology has barred the Metropolitan not to demolish the old structure. Instead, it has urged the Mayor to retrofit the building as it was still functional. Likewise, the use of concrete materials to restore Rani Pokhari has also seen a public outcry. Following the debate, Shakya said that Rani Pokhari would be reconstructed as per the recommendations of Department of Archaeology with minor changes from Shakya. 

Three firefighters die dousing Super Gas Industry fire

Three firefighters lost their lives in their attempts to douse the fire of Super Gas Industry at Birgunj. The fire was brought under control almost after eight hours.

Pashupatinath Temple becomes vehicle free zone

Pashupatinath temple complex has been declared a ‘no-go zone’ for vehicles, except ambulance and hearse.No vehicle will be allowed to pass through Dakshina Murti, Itapakha-Bhuwaneshwor Chowk, Dathutol-Annapurna Bhandar, Gaushala-Bhuwaneshwor Chowk, Bankali Dharmashala-Bakuntol and Char Shivalaya-Dakshin Gate.

Everest Premier League

The first biggest club cricket Twenty20 games, the Everest Premier League was held. The League has been considered a milestone to promote the game. 

Nepal slips one step down to 171st position in FIFA rankings

Nepal slipped one step down to the 171st position in the latest FIFA rankings. Nepal was ranked the 170th position in the recent last rankings.  

Nepal hosts and wins first international wheelchair cricket tournament

Wheelchair Cricket Association, Nepal organized the first T20 International Wheelchair Cricket Tournament on December 14-16. Nepal, Bangladesh and India competed in the games.  Nepal won the title by defeating Bangladesh by 54 runs.

-Pratik Rimal & Bipana Thapa

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