Ex-minister Gupta arrested again on kidnap charge

Published On: September 6, 2016 01:40 AM NPT By: Kamal Pariyar

KATHMANDU, Sept 6: The Metropolitan Police Range Office, Jawalakhel, on Monday arrested former minister Shyam Sundar Gupta from Talchhikhel of Lalitpur on the charge of threatening a woman with abduction if she failed to provide him Rs 5 million.
Based on the complaints registered by the victim woman, who is an entrepreneur, on Monday, a police squad arrested former minister Gupta from his residence in Talchhikhel.

The District Court Kathmandu on Monday remanded Gupta to four days in custody for investigation into the charges.

SSP Pitambar Adhikari said, “Preliminary investigation shows that Gupta had been threatening to abduct the woman after she refused to pay him Rs 5 million.”

Though the accused has been denying the charge of the victim, phone call details have provided enough ground to support the allegation, police said. Police have also suspected his involvement in more such cases after his release from Dilli Bazar prison last year. 

Gupta, who is a former minister for commerce and supplies, lawmaker and leader of Sadbhawana Party, had served three and half years in jail for abduction of businessman Pawan Sanghai and was released just last year. The constituent assembly had suspended his membership after he was convicted of kidnapping.

Gupta, who masterminded the abduction of Sanghai, was released after a single bench of justice Kul Prasad Sharma heard the case and slapped only three and a half years jail for Gupta. The prosecutor had sought a 17 years jail term against him and 15 years for his accomplices Akash Lama and Jit Bahadur Lama. 

Sanghai, proprietor of Arya Pharmaceuticals, had been kidnapped from Kamaladi in the capital on December 22, 2011 and released after his family paid a ransom of Rs 8.5 million on January 11, 2012.
Similarly, Gupta had also made attempts to escape from the prison while he was hospitalized for treatment of hypertension about two years ago.
Four policemen on duty had passed out after consuming food items -- sandwiches and chowmein -- provided by Gupta while he was hospitalized at Himal Hospital, Gyaneshwar. A policeman was immediately admitted to the ICU for treatment and the other three regained consciousness after 24 hours. 

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