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Nepal nudged to probe Dawood link

Kathmandu, Aug. 8: India has asked Nepal to take immediate action against a private cable network for its suspected links with Dawood Ibrahim.

Delhi has “credible information” that the gangster, who is accused of masterminding the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai, has invested heavily in Space Time Network, a private cable network and publishing house in Kathmandu, the Indian embassy said in a letter to the Nepalese foreign ministry.

An official of the cable network was, however, quoted as saying that the company has no foreign investment.

A Nepal foreign ministry official said the government was investigating the matter.

The embassy has asked the Nepalese government to inquire into the ownership and financing of the company, which runs a Nepali daily and a television channel, and take immediate action against the company if the charges are proved, said Sanjay Verma, the embassy’s first secretary, information.

It has also requested the Nepalese government to share the information with its Indian counterpart once the inquiry is over.

The letter recalled that the UN has made an al Qaida and Taliban sanction list under the Security Council Resolution 1267 and Dawood has been declared a listed individual. According to the Security Council Resolution 1526, all nations are expected to freeze assets of the listed individuals, it said.

If it is proved that Dawood has made investments in the company, immediate action should be taken against the company as required by the UN resolution, the embassy letter stated.

Sources said that India in a note verbale — the official communication between two governments — had informed the Nepalese foreign ministry of the antecedents of the media group and its alleged links with Dawood on July 16, this year.

India claims that it has evidence to establish links between the two. Sources said that the group has been involved in anti-Indian activities for several years now.

When a mysterious backlash erupted against Indian establishments in Nepal a few years ago citing unsubstantiated comments attributed to a Mumbai actor, intelligence agencies had suggested that it could be Dawood’s handiwork.

The disclosure of the Indian missive comes in the wake of reports that an al Qaida operative arrested in Pakistan some days ago was carrying plans which, among other things, spoke of attacks at the Kathmandu International Airport.

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