RAJBIRAJ, June 7: Police investigations have revealed that officials of the District Administrative Office (DAO) Saptari were involved in two notorious cases of fake citizenship that have surfaced since December.
Discovery in the possession of the accused of two different citizenship certificates with the same number and with numbers that are not recorded at the DAO, and confiscation of citizenship cards, Home Ministry stickers, the DAO stamp and other items from them have also raised questions about the workings of the DAO.
According to police sources, the finding of photocopies of citizenship certificates at the DAO office that are not registered at the DAO itself has given reason enough to suspect the involvement of the office personnel.
On April 7, 2018, Indian trader Satish Kumar Agrawal was arrested from Dubai in coordination with DPO Saptari on the charge of involvement in the fake citizenship racket. Police arrested him after the DAO received a complaint
As per the complaint, Agrawal had received Nepali citizenship with number ‘59432’ through the DAO office. The complainant had submitted a photocopy of Agrawal’s citizenship. The accused said he had submitted the required particulars for the citizenship on June 29, 1995. However, no record of a citizenship with that number was found at the DAO. The citizenship was issued on December 11, 2017. The photocopy shows that it was signed by Administrative Officer Hom Nath Khatri.
Police investigations also show that Agrawal acquired a different citizenship copy on March 19, 2017. The copy shows the signature of District Administrative Officer Janak Raj Koirala. Agrawal is currently in police custody, pending a trial.
The DPO has also listed District Administrative Officer Koirala, then non-gazetted first class officer Bhagwan Dahar and Rajbiraj Municipality-1 then ward secretary Raj Kumar Dev as the accused. Although the DAO has rejected the accusations, the DPO has been insisting that there is plenty of reason to suspect culpability. The complaint against Agrawal was filed at the DAO on June 6, 2017. However, a source claimed that the complaint had already reached the DAO two weeks earlier.
“From a long time, they had been trying to resolve the issue through a setting rather than registering a complaint,” said the source.
“After the complainant piled pressure, a legal practitioner instructed that the complaint, which was initially recorded on plain paper, be formatted in the standard way.”
Agrawal’s wife Monica is also an Indian citizen. However, she has taken Nepali citizenship on the basis of her husband’s Nepali citizenship. Although her husband’s citizenship was fake, Monica’s citizenship was considered valid, giving her plenty of opportunity to flee. The source claims that Monica was able to escape with help from concerned authorities at the DAO.
“The office provided Monica an opportunity to escape after selling property registered in her name. All of this happened with help from the DAO,” claimed the source.
This is not the first time the DAO has been accused of involvement in a fake citizenship racket. On December 3, police had arrested six people, including DAO assistant Ajaya Kumar Yadav and Rajbiraj-10 secretary Mohammad Wakil Miya.
They were arrested on a tip-off. Three of the arrested were Indians, police claimed. Nepali citizenship cards, stickers with the logo of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the DAO stamp and other materials were confiscated from them.