Graft-accused got officer kills self

- Bhadra Sharma, KATHMANDU
Graft-accused got officer kills self

Jun 15, 2014-

Shiva Prasad Pokharel, a non-gazetted government officer at the Land Revenue Office in Dilli Bazaar, committed suicide on Sunday morning after the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) started a probe into his alleged involvement in financial irregularities.

Fifty-five-year-old Pokharel was accused of receiving Rs 100,000 bribe for registering a plot of land in the name of Desh Bahadur Limbu, a local of Sakhuwa in Dhankuta, while he worked at the Dhankuta District Land Revenue Office.

Police and locals said Pokharel, hailing from Chandragadhi in Jhapa, jumped off from a six-storied house at Kaushaltar in Bhaktapur at around 4:30am on Sunday. Pokharel's both legs were broken and he was critically injured after jumping off the rented house, eyewitness said.

Family members and neighbours had rushed him to the Gaththaghar-based Nagarik Hospital immediately after the incident. The hospital, later, referred him to Kathmandu Medical College (KMC) for further treatment, where he breathed his last at 7:30am.

"Balkot police rescued him and took him to the hospital but he died immediately after admitting to the KMC," said Sub-inspector Tribikram Koirala at the Kaushaltar Police Office. Police recovered from the incident site suicide notes, directive issued by the CIAA and a letter issued from his office asking him to appear before the anti-graft body.

On May 30, the CIAA had asked the Dilli Bazaar Land Revenue Office to present Pokharel before the anti-graft body for an inquiry into the decision made by Dhankuta Land Revenue Office to register the land in the name of Limbu. Subsequently, his seniors had written him to appear before the CIAA and furnish his clarification.

The CIAA was investigating into the matter following complaints against Pokharel for his alleged involvement in receiving the bribe. "He has mentioned that local officials framed him into the case," said Dipendra Manandhar, owner of the house where Pokharel was living.

In the suicide note, Pokharel has mentioned not to blame anyone (landlord, neighbours and wife) for his death. "I jumped off the house with my own accord as there is no point in living. Son, daughters and relatives should not worry. ... I sacrificed myself as my existence will be burden on earth," reads the note.

The CIAA, meanwhile, has expressed its sadness over the incident. However, the anti-graft body said Pokahrel is solely responsible for his death. "There is no point in blaming us but he himself is responsible for his death. If he was not involved in irregularities we would not investigate into the matter," said CIAA Spokesperson Shreedhar Sapkota.

Published: 15-06-2014 21:27

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