Marwari don becomes Nepal’s most wanted

July 9th, 2010 - 3:57 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, July 9 (IANS) A 30-year-old from the Marwari community, the clan with the Midas touch in both India and Nepal, is now among Nepal’s most wanted, after a series of murders and kidnaps by his gang that includes both Indians and Nepali henchmen.

Nepal police are searching for Rohit Paliwal Agarwal, a Nepali of Indian origin whose brothers and other family members are bona fide businessmen in Nepal and India.

The 30-year-old, who lives in both India and Nepal, uses an assumed Indian identity as well.

“Agarwal registered himself with the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu as Suresh Kumar Agarwal,” senior police official Devendra Subedi told IANS. “He could have a fake Indian passport or ID in that name.”

The spotlight turned on Agarwal after the abduction of a senior cancer specialist, Dr Bhaktaman Shrestha.

Shrestha was released last month after remaining in captivity for 19 days. His kidnap triggered protests by the medical community, resulting in hospital services across the nation being affected.

Police Thursday made the result of their investigation public after they arrested three of Agarwal’s accomplices. They include Nabin Chhetri, an Indian from Darjeeling town in India’s West Bengal state, and two Nepalis, one of whom was a chauffeur at the cancer hospital in southern Nepal where Shrestha works.

Agarwal first came into police’s notice three years ago when he and his Nepali partner in crime, Bhimsen Pandit, were arrested for at least two kidnaps and an attempted murder.

However, after serving nine months in prison, they were released on bail after an order by the Kathmandu district court.

The men carry arms and Subedi says the gun shown to Shrestha to intimidate him into obeying his abductors was probably brought by Agarwal from India.

Agarwal also brought a Maruti car with an Indian number plate that was used to cart the kidnapped doctor away to the gang’s hideout in Kathmandu.

Both Agarwal and Pandil, who is in his late 30s, are absconding. Police believe both fled to India across the border.

“Crime has no border,” Subedi said. “There are frequent cases of people committing crimes in Nepal and fleeing to India and vice versa. We hope the Indian police will cooperate with us in arresting Agarwal and Pandit. Cross-border security cooperation is becoming a must for the safety of both Indians and Nepalis.”

Last month, two Nepali women employed as domestic help in New Delhi kidnapped a two-year-old girl and fled to Nepal.

They were arrested by the Nepal police and the child was rescued and handed over to her anxious relatives.

This week, seven Nepali labourers were taken captive by an Indo-Nepali gang in southern Nepal.

However, Nepal police succeeded in rescuing the captives after three bandits were killed in an exchange of gunfire.

Two of the men killed were Indians.

(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at

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