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Industrialist Arun Chaudhary detained in connection with bansbari Land-Grab; Private sector condemns arrest

KATHMANDU: In a significant development, the Kathmandu District Court (KDC) has granted permission to authorities for the detention of prominent industrialist Arun Chaudhary. The arrest is in connection with the Bansbari Leather and Shoe Factory land-grab case, which has raised eyebrows and garnered strong reactions from the private sector.

A police team from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police apprehended Chaudhary from his residence in Lazimpat, Kathmandu, on Thursday morning.

Currently serving as the Chairman and Managing Director of CG Holdings, Chaudhary is facing accusations related to the alleged land-grab involving the Bansbari Leather and Shoe Factory. The KDC has sanctioned a four-day custody for the CIB to carry out further investigations into the matter.

Preliminary findings from the CIB suggest that Chaudhary is accused of intentionally misappropriating 10 ropanis of land that originally belonged to the shoe factory, which was privatized nearly three decades ago and is no longer operational.

Alongside Chaudhary, the police also detained Ajit Narayan Singh Thapa, the former chairman of the state-owned shoe factory, and Sanjay Thakur, the proprietor of Amrapali Construction, both alleged to be connected to the land embezzlement case. Thapa was arrested from his residence in Battisputali, Kathmandu.

CIB Spokesperson SP Nawaraj Adhikari revealed that the arrests are part of an essential investigation into the land-grab scam involving the Bansbari property.

However, the private sector, represented by entrepreneurs associated with the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), has vehemently condemned Chaudhary’s arrest. In a press meet organized on Thursday, the CNI criticized the government’s actions, decrying the lack of a thorough investigation and labeling the arrest as an ad hoc decision by the CIB.

The private sector contends that Chaudhary was not provided an opportunity for clarification or called in for questioning before the arrest. The arrest has triggered concerns among industrialists and business leaders who fear potential adverse impacts on the business environment and investor confidence.

As the case unfolds, the detention of Arun Chaudhary has become a focal point for discussions on the balance between legal proceedings and protecting the interests of the private sector in Nepal. The developments in this case are anticipated to have lasting implications on the business landscape and governance in the country.

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