12/07/2013, 00.00
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Nepal, bureaucrats flee to Hindu temples to escape anti-corruption investigation

by Christopher Sharma
In recent days, dozens among politicians, officials and bureaucrats have flocked to Hindu temples in the center of Kathmandu. The move is a way to escape the crackdown on corruption launched by the Commission for the investigation of abuses committed by the authorities ( Ciaa ). At least 64 senior officials must respond to abuses of power and corruption. Lokman Karki , president of Ciaa , states: "No Hindu deity will save them ."

Kathmandu ( AsiaNews) - Politicians and corrupt officials are attempting to mask their " misdeeds " , which made Nepal one of the most corrupt countries in the world with assiduous visits and lavish offerings to the Hindu temples.

December 3 scores between politicians , government officials and businessmen went early in the morning in the temples of Pashupatinath, Bhadrakali and Dakshinkali , to pay their respects to the Hindu deities . Janu Gubaju , assistant priest of the temple of Bhadrakali confirms that "dozens of high-level politicians and bureaucrats have visited the holy place , offering food and prayers to the gods ." However, the man does not know "the reasons that led these people to visit the temple." The same scene took place in the temples of Pashupatinath and Dakshinkali .

According to local media the move is an attempt to escape the strict checks by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (Ciaa ) . Recently the Commission has filed a complaint with the Special Court for corruption cases against 64 senior government officials and entrepreneurs and launched a campaign of raids and investigations to stop them. The 64 officials are accused of having created a parallel system of buying and selling of illegal immigrants used as cheap labor.

Speaking of the ongoing investigation and the "religious fervor" shown by some suspects, Lokman Karki , president of Ciaa , states: " No Hindu deity will save them . We are investigating - he adds - and seeking among the many cases filed with our head office and soon we will present a case against them. Among these people there are many political leaders , bureaucrats and senior officers of the security agencies . "

According to the "2013 Corruption Perceptions Index" ( CPI ) report released by the organization Transparency International, Nepal is the 116th place in the ranking of perceptions of corruption out of 177 countries surveyed . The worst are Somalia , North Korea , Myanmar and Afghanistan. The result is better than the 2010-2011 period, which had earned the country 154th place. Bishnu Bahadur KC , chairman of Transparency International points out that " there is still an urgent need for action to reduce corruption in Nepal ."

 In these years of political chaos in Nepal different committees and organizations have been set up to combat endemic corruption , among them: the CIAA , the Special Court for corruption , the National Warning ( Satarkata ) Center and the Revenue Investigation Bureau .


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