Bansbari Land Case: Binod Chaudhary’s statement to CBI

Bansbari Land Case

Bansbari Land Case: Nepal Police’s CIB is probing land misuse at Bansbari Leather Shoe Factory, questioning MPs, Nepali Congress leaders, and Binod Chaudhary.

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police is presently gathering statements from Members of the House of Representatives, Nepali Congress central member, and businessman Binod Chaudhary concerning the alleged misappropriation of government land linked to the Bansbari Leather Shoe Factory.

In 2043 BS, Champion Footwear, initially focused on textile shoe production, procured 10 parcels of land formerly belonging to Bansbari Leather Shoe Company. The Chaudhary family, in conjunction with other stakeholders including Bansbari Leather Shoe Company, participated in this endeavor. However, suspicions have arisen regarding collusion during the land acquisition process.

Three years later, Champion Footwear ceased operations, and control over the entire land fell to them. SP Hobindra Bogati of CIB lodged a letter with the Parliament Secretariat to notify Speaker Devraj Ghimire of the investigation into lawmaker Chaudhary’s alleged involvement in the land embezzlement case.

Reports suggest Chaudhary is implicated not only in the Bansbari land case but also faces accusations of encroaching on government land across various locations in Nepal.

Regarding Chaudhary’s land acquisition cases:

He stands accused of unlawfully procuring 10 ropani of land from Bansbari Leather Shoe Factory, subsequently transferring it to Champion Footwear through an illicit agreement. Chaudhary then rebranded the company as CG Chandbagh Residency Pvt. The land was later transferred to his brother, Arun Chaudhary, who now operates CG Chandbagh School on the seized property.

Additionally, Binod Chaudhary’s company, CG Hills, is developing a housing project on government land in Bhainsepati. The road leading to this project in Lalitpur has become a focal point of local protests. CG Hills acquired land inexpensively in Bhainsepati’s interior and steep areas, seizing government land due to the absence of a road. Curiously, the same government land is now being advertised as having a spacious road, with houses from the housing project up for sale. Some constructed houses are allegedly accessible only through government land.

Chaudhary purportedly facilitated road access by purchasing 8 annas 2 paise of land from an individual. Furthermore, his company allegedly seized 5 ropani 2 annas of government land. Allegations extend to the complicity of the land registry, surveyor’s office, and local representatives in supporting the overnight seizure of government land.

Notably, plot number 65 from Fast Track was registered under the ownership of CG Hills in 2076 BS.

Locals, including Tara Baral, Suresh Thapa, Ram Bhakta Pandey, and Parameshwar Thapa, have filed a case in Patan High Court against land revenue office employees concerning these issues. However, despite ongoing court proceedings, the matter is under review.

Residents of Satungal are struggling to reclaim a path obstructed by Chaudhary. Binod Chaudhary, along with then prince Dhirendra Shah, purchased land from Ganesh Bahadur Shrestha in Satungal to establish the Apollo Steel factory. After acquiring the land, Chaudhary closed the road on the east side, causing contention among locals.

Allegations have also been leveled against CG Industrial Park in Devchuli Municipality-2 of Nawalparasi for encroaching on public land. A former government official claims that the Chaudhary Group expanded its business empire by encroaching on government land across various locations in Nepal.

Documents reveal that Arun Chaudhary, Binod’s younger brother, holds 200 shares in Champion Footwear Limited. Despite Arun’s arrest, Binod remains unapprehended. Binod Chaudhary, despite being the mastermind behind the land acquisition, has not faced arrest.

Furthermore, during the investigation conducted by the CIB, it was discovered that Thapa invested a total of Rs 12 lakh 25 thousand in Champion Footwear, while Bansbari Leather Shoe Factory had invested over Rs 26 lakh.

Arun Chaudhary acknowledged Binod Chaudhary’s involvement in his statement to the CIB. In contrast, Binod insists that he legally acquired the shares and questions the authenticity of the approval process during that time.

The CIB’s investigation, despite Arun Chaudhary’s release, is ongoing, branching out into different dimensions. Binod Chaudhary is allegedly employing various tactics to avoid providing a statement to the CIB, including exerting pressure on political entities and former police chiefs.

The Bansbari Land Case faced additional complexities after the judge who released Arun Chaudhary faced departmental action.

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