Thursday, May 10, 2007

RCU frauds in census, UNHCR concerns

Beldangi/Kathmandu, May 8: Shat Kumar Pokhrel, the Assistant Refugee Coordination Unit (RCU) of Beldangi- II camp has registered three non-Bhutanese people during the re-registration process of exiled Bhutanese.

The press secretary of Bhutan Press Union (BPU) and chief editor of Jagaran, Khem Shandilya informed the BNS that the RCU has registered three non-Bhutanese people in place of three exiled Bhutanese from a same family.

They are learnt to have remained absent during the first round of the official census.

Shandilya quoted Kumar Sigdel (name changed), a resident of Beldangi-II camp as claiming that his interview including that of his two brothers was denied by the census team. However, after a long debate, the census team interviewed all three members of Sigdel family, who were absent earlier in January 8, on Monday.

The census team told Sigdel family that their interview was already done. The team also showed three fake photographs and filled-up forms of Sigdel family members, who were absent during the first round of census.

Kumar is further quoted as saying that they became surprised to see three photographs snapped already in place of them. “Though we saw those photos and filled-up forms we could not identify”, Sigdel said.

Meanwhile, Pokhrel is learnt to have met Kumar on May 5 and tried convincing him not to make the matter public. Shandilya quoted Kumar as saying that the assistant RCU also tried to give Nepalese currency 5,000 on the condition not to leak the matter. “I denied receiving the amount”, Sigdel said.

In a response to the BNS query, the UNHCR country representative in Nepal, Abraham ABRAHAM informed that the UNHCR has already begun investigation to sort out facts behind the case.

“We definitively would like to see investigation on that matter and I have initiated such process”, he said. Stating that fraud doesn’t help anywhere, ABRAHAM further said that persons of such a background would be disqualified if they apply for resettlement process.

ABRAHAM also said that a single case as such would not disturb the whole process of third country resettlement. “The UNHCR takes it seriously and deal within the framework of Nepalese law. Let’s allow the court to decide after we establish facts”, he added.

This is the first record of the fraud case during the official census carried on by the joint team of the UNHCR and Nepal government that concludes on May 11.

No comments: