Mumbai: From terrorists to kidney racketeers, every big criminal’s favourite hideout seems to be Nepal. Suspected Indian Mujahideen operative Afzal Usmani, caught by the state ATS on Sunday, too, was headed for the neighbouring country.
“The reason is simple. We have a porous border. No passport or other document is required to travel between India and Nepal through the Bahraich-Nepalgunj route. Dreaded criminals from Bihar and UP keep taking shelter in Nepal,” said a security expert.
“Indian and Nepalese merchants, who have good trade relations, travel by road in large numbers. There is little questioning. Going through documents and verification is a long procedure. Even if someone is detained, a bribe is enough to set oneself free,” said a source. “Taking advantage of all this, any criminal can cross over in the guise of a merchant.”
Among Indian criminals arrested in Nepal or at the border are: kidney racket kingpin Dr Amit Kumar, alias Santosh Raut, who was nabbed in February 2008; alleged IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, alias Ahmed Zarar Siddibapa, who was nabbed on August 28, 2013, and found in the guise of a Unani doctor; suspected LeT bomb maker Abdul Karim, alias Tunda, who was nabbed on August 16.
Nepal also witnesses battles among Indian gangs. Betting kingpin Mirza Dilshad Baig was killed there in 2004 by a rival gang lord over a monetary dispute that had started on Indian soil.
Yasin Bhatkal Alias Ahmed Zarar Siddibapa. Alleged Indian Mujahideen operative. Arrested at the Indo-Nepal border near Motihari, Bihar, in August. Suspected to be involved in at least 16 bomb blasts across India
Karim Tunda Suspected expert bomb maker of terro outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. Accused of masterminding over 40 bombings in India. Arrested in August at the Indo-Nepal border
Dr Amit Kumar Alias Santosh Raut. Kidney racket kingpin. Arrested in Nepal in February 2008 and deported to India. Mahim police, who wanted him in a 2005 case, claimed custody. First arrested by crime branch in 1994
The Times of India, October 30, 2013