Abduction-accused Gupta sent to judicial custody; police record show he was held on similar charges in 1979

Former minister and chairman of Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandi Devi) Shyam Sundar Gupta, who was arrested from his residence in Siddharthanagar-5 of Bhairahawa, Rupandehi Monday on charges of his involvement in the kidnapping of a prominent Kathmandu-based Marwari businessman, was sent today to jail by a Kathmandu Court.

Kathmandu District Court remanded Gupta, who is also a lawmaker, in judicial custody till January 20 after Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD) produced him in the court amidst tight security.

Gupta was brought to Kathmandu from his hometown Bhairahawa following his arrest yesterday. He was there to attend his son’s wedding. Police arrested Gupta after an arrest warrant against him on charges of kidnapping and hostage taking.

After being sent to judicial custody today, Gupta’s Constituent Assembly membership has automatically been scrapped. He had earlier lost his CA membership when his party suffered a split, but later the Supreme Court had reinstated him.

Gupta denied his involvement in the abduction of Pawan Sanghai following his arrest yesterday. Describing himself as a victim of political biasness, he claimed that he is being wrongly accused of a crime he did not commit.

Gupta, who was appointed minister for commerce and supplies in 2008 by then prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala, was held on the basis of the statements recorded by Aakash Lama of Hetauda and Jeet Bahadur Gole who were arrested by the police from Hetauda in course of investigation of Sanghai abduction case on Sunday.

Sanghai, who is said to have been abducted on the morning of December 21 from Kamaladi GaneshThan, had returned home safely three weeks later after paying hefty ransom. Although, his family tried to keep the amount of ransom a secret, police source believe he paid several crores (tens of millions) rupees to secure release.

Police record showed Gupta had been arrested on a similar charge of abducting a Marwari businessman in Kathmandu in 1979. But he managed to walk free then by using his political connection and taking advantage of weak law regarding kidnapping. Nepalnews.com

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