Min Bahadur Gurung, the proprietor of Bhatbhateni supermarket, was apprehended by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CIB) today from his Naxal residence. The arrest was made in connection with his alleged involvement in the Lalita Niwas land grab scandal.
Along with him, 4 other people were arrested. Gurung stands accused of misappropriating 299 ropani 3 annas of government land that rightfully belonged to Lalita Niwas. Prior to his arrest, he had been listed as one of the possible absconders.
The main individuals implicated in the scheme of involving other businesses as partners were Min Bahadur Gurung, along with land brokers Shobha Kanta Dhakal and Ram Kumar Subedi. These individuals acquired the land in 2061 B.S. and subsequently sold it to politicians, prominent business entities, and other influential individuals.
One notable figure among the buyers was Bishnu Prasad Paudel, who was the General Secretary of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) at the time of the transaction.
On February 5, 2020, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) pressed corruption charges against a total of 175 individuals involved in the land grab within the central region of Kathmandu. Since then, several individuals have been granted release by the court, either with or without the requirement of posting bail.
In March 2023, the Supreme Court had ordered the release of Shobha Kanta Dhakal – one of the masterminds of the land grab case.