The government of Girja Prasad Koirala is responsible to the YCL action against currupt and bank defaulter Sita Ram Prasain
Sitaram Prasain in Tundikhel on Monday (4 June). Pic by Shaligram Tiwari via Kantipur
Many of us have been asking this question since the day before yesterday when we knew that the YCL “arrested” Sita Ram Prasain, corrupt and bank defaulter from his office in a dramatic manner: How do you react? Many people have been reacting in two ways:
1. That’s wrong but this guy should have been arrested by the state long time ago.
2. That’s right because this state is not representing the rule of law (which means arresting Sita Ram) and, in that case, anyone can take laws in their own hands.
The Maoist youth wing Young Communist League (YCL) Monday handed over “wanted” former chairman of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries Development Bank (NCSIDB) Sita Ram Prasain to Kathmandu Police during a press meeting yesterday afternoon. The YCL had taken Prasain – against whom the government had issued arrest warrant for involvement in financial irregularities — under its custody Sunday alleging the police of “showing no interest in making his arrest.”
“We handed Prasain, who has been involved in corruption and irregularities to the police to take action against him. We took this step to begin the process of building a corruption free new Nepal. Although Prasain admitted of committing financial irregularities, he maintained that no arrest warrant had been issued against him.”- Sagar, Valley Incharge of YCL.
“I did not do any wrong and I am ready to face any punishment if the court finds me guilty. I did not get any summon and I am not involved in activities to destroy the bank.”- Sita Ram Prasain
I think I support the first reaction but won’t condemn the second one as well. I don’t blame YCL or Young Communist League, the youth wing of CPN Maoist, for Sita Ram drama. Girija Prasad Koirala, the Prime Minister of the coalition government, can’t escape easily from the drama by just providing us the new full form of YCL: “Young Criminal League.” Yes many of the YCL activities are deplorable and criminal like in nature but in this case it’s more to do with the failure of Koirala or the State than the whatever-brand act of YCL. If YCL is a “criminal” outfit because they arrested Sita Ram and handed him over to Nepal Police for further legal proceedings, Koirala is also a criminal because he, as the prime minister of this country, wasn’t implementing the rule of law by not arresting Sita Ram. Koirala said that YCL made a joke of law and order. Right. But what the hell was Koirala doing? Exactly the same. It was widely believed that Koirala was actually providing security and environment to a criminal like Sita Ram Prasain instead of arresting him. The government’s inability of arrest Sita Ram Prasain had made the joke of law enforcement agencies in Nepal. Prasain was openly throwing out parties in which who’s who of the political circles attended. Communist chameleons like Modanath Pashrit were writing columns giving reasons why they attended the Sita Ram Prasain party and were not feeling guilty over their deeds.
Under directions of the Nepal Rastra Bank, the Police Headquarters had issued arrest warrants against Prasain and other senior officials of the financially-troubled bank on charges of extending loans with the intention of fraud, causing a loss of Rs 280 million to the bank on August 22 last year. The arrest warrant against Prasain was issued after Nepal Rastra Bank forwarded a number of cases to the financial crime branch of Nepal Police after its initial investigations found that some of the cases attracted the Fraud Section of Civil Code. Prasain, however, was open and wild. He was attending public functions and running Universal Tours and Travels, the general sales agent of Korean Air, as chairman. Despite the claim that police headquarters had circulated the arrest warrant to all its regional offices, Kathmandu District Police sources said it never received such a warrant.
After they received Sita Ram Prasain from YCL, the Kathmandu Police immediately filed a case against him in Kathmandu district court. Look at that! How can you speak against YCL, particularly in this case, if you are filing case against the person ‘arrested’ by YCL and handed over to you? YCL got immunity from its earlier ‘criminal-like activities’ because of Prasain incident. And we must admit Koirala provided the cover to YCL by not arresting his relative Prasain.