K.P. Dhungana, Author 'Open Secret'
Mr. K.P. Dhungana is a serious Nepali journalist reporting on crime and security related issues since long. He has already worked for the Rajdhani Daily and Naya Patrika, and is now working for the Nagarik Daily. Originally Dhungana hails from Talamarang VDC of Sindhupalchock district who is now in Kathmandu carefully monitoring the maneuvering of international dons, mafia and secret agencies from various countries by being inside the Nepali soil. "Open Secret", a book penned by him and published by Fine Print has very recently hit the kiosks of Nepal's major cities. Congratulations Mr. Dhungana for your daring steps.
Sujit Mainali for the Telegraph Weekly and its online edition telegraphnepal.com interviewed this bouncing and enterprising young man about the presence and activities of international secret agencies along with their dons and their maneuvering inside Nepal.
Below the excerpts of this exclusive interview: Chief Editor.
TQ1: You have recently launched a book named 'Open Secret'. Can you please tell us what this book is all about?
Dhungana: The book is focused on trans-boarder crime taking place frequently inside the Nepali soil. The book covers the incident that took place in between 2055 to 2068 BS. In this period, spanning to some 13 years, seven criminal activities were accomplished by actors engaged in the trans-border crime in which six were the murder cases and the seventh one was the attempt to murder. In this book, I have tried to lay bare the involvement of spies of different countries in masterminding the ploy.
TQ2: Which factor(s) motivated you to write this book?
Dhungana: After I went through documents of some of the above stated murder cases, I smelt rat. Then I decided to explore and go more deep into this subject. After a series of study, in-depth investigation followed by interview(s) with the stakeholders, I found the involvement of international spy agencies and underworld dons in those criminal activities.
Finally I found that the very same gang was behind the entire seven criminal acts. The people who were involved in orchestrating the plot were also the same and the place where the designs were made was also strangely a matching one. Only the people who were used in frontline to materialize the plot were obviously different. These facts further deepened my quest to unveil the truth which is what I have tried in this book.
TQ3: Don’t you feel afraid to have written a book on such a sensitive issue?
Dhungana: I have remained value free and unbiased in the book. My book is not targeted against any criminal gangs, mafia groups or against any country. By book is based on the facts. I have tried to maintain absolute neutrality, as far as I could, while writing this book, and hence, I do not think anyone will target me for the subject I have presented through the book.
The realities behind the above stated criminal acts were known to limited politicians, bureaucrats and journalists only. If no one dares to write about it, how the public will be informed about the reality? After all I am a journalist and my prime duty is to inform public about the truth. This sense of moral obligation overwhelmed me and this is what motivated me to write this book.
TQ4: Which factor, do you think, is responsible for the frequent occurrence of trans-border crimes inside Nepali soil?
Dhungana: Criminal gangs of this region are making best use of the open border existing in between Nepal and India. India has deployed a large number of SSB along its border with Nepal. The monitoring and surveillance mechanism of India is strong and vibrant. But Nepali side is very poor in this regard. Armed Police Force (APF) is assigned to monitor the border areas; however, the presence of APF along the border is very poor. They are not well equipped with sophisticated equipments and technologies. As a result, Nepal is becoming the prime victim of the open border phenomenon.
I think Nepal should take initiatives at the diplomatic level to regulate open border with India. Nepal has nearly become a failed state due to wide spread criminal activities propelled by the porous open border. This is the most serious issue and hence the government must take inventiveness immediately to regulate open border for curbing trans-border crime.
TQ5: We have heard that you have hinted some sort of stealthy relation that exist in between the underworld mafias and intelligence agencies of this region. Is it true?
Dhungana: Of course. All the seven criminal activities have many things in common and this commonality adds to the strength of my argument. In my book, I have tried to uncover some hidden aspects of the murder case of Mirza Dilshad Beg, Kamal Singh Nepali, Majid Munihar, Shaukat Beg, Jamim Shah, and Faizan Ahmed and attempt of murder of Yunus Ansari. All these people were accused of being involved in anti-Indian activities. They all were also charged for working with India's most wanted Dawood Ibrahim of D-Company from the Nepali soil. They were further accused for being involved in racket of counterfeit Indian currency in bulk for ruining the Indian economy. Indian media used to report that all of them were working for Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan.
I do not accuse the intelligence agency of any country as such for officially orchestrating conspiracy of above stated criminal ploy. But my investigation shows that a joint team of officials of India's intelligence agencies Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Central Intelligence Bureau (CIB) and Special Task Force are supporting the criminal gangs for carrying out criminal activities and terror inside Nepali soil. Officials of Indian intelligence agencies are supporting the criminals from behind the scene. This is my tentative finding.
TQ6: You are making quite thrilling and somewhat frightening remarks. How can you claim the authenticity of your arguments that you have made in the book?
Dhungana: I have gone through several published and unpublished reports and only have then confirmed their authenticity. Only the facts, for example, which were verified after cross checking were included in book. Nepalese intelligence found that some people involved in the trans-border crime were associated with India's security agencies. Nepal government made a number of requests to India demanding details about the suspected Indian nationals. But India always prefers to remain tightlipped in such moments. For the details, I request the reader of this newspaper and website to go through my book. You will better understand after reading the book.
TQ7: Which criminal gangs and underworld dons in your knowledge were active inside Nepal? Cana you name some?
Dhungana: The gangs led by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Rajan and Babloo Srivastava are active here.
TQ8: Can you please reveal more about their nexus with Intelligence agencies of this region?
Dhungana: Let me not accuse any intelligence agency as such for having official nexus with the criminal gangs and dons. But what is for sure is that some officials of Indian intelligence agencies are favoring Chhota Rajan and Babloo Srivastava whereas that of Pakistan are favoring Dawood Ibrahim.
Prior to carrying out the 1993 Mumbai blast, Dawood was working being close with the Indian security agencies. After the Mumbai carnage, distance between Dawood and India comfortably widened. India then promoted Chhota Rajan, the junior of Dawood in his gang, to form his own underworld group for taming the rival Dawood machinery. Since then, Chota Rajan is working in close association with some officials of India's security agencies.
The report of INTERPOL has time and again claimed that Dawood is living a lavish life in Karachi, a city of Pakistan. The reluctance of Pakistani security officials to arrest him has hinted that some sort of tacit understanding exists between him and the officials of Pakistan's security agencies.
Nepal is becoming a battleground of the intelligence agencies of India and Pakistan. It is very unfortunate to tell that a peace loving country is being victimized by the rivalry between these two South Asian nuclear powers.
TQ9: Can you please let our august readers know about the level of presence of Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies in Nepal?
Dhungana: The presence of intelligence agencies of both India and Pakistan is very strong here. But their working style is totally different.
RAW and IB are frequently dragged into controversy. Their activities inside Nepal usually hit the headlines of media. I don’t know whether the Indian intelligence create hullaballoo of their activities deliberately or it is the manifestation of their weakness? On the contrary, ISI is working as a 'silent killer' inside Nepal. It is successfully carrying out its activities here; however, its activities seldom become a matter of public debate in Kathmandu. The agents of ISI also meet top-hats of Nepal; but it rarely gets leaked to the public. The silent presence of ISI doesn’t mean that it is weaker than RAW or IB inside Nepal. Pakistani intelligences were trained by American intelligence agencies, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) where as the RAW and IB were trained by Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (KGB) of the former USSR during the cold war era. Their schooling might have shaped their working style. However, I am not much confident on this.
TQ10: What the intelligence agency of Nepal is doing to curb the maneuvering of foreign intelligence activities then?
Dhungana: Nepal's intelligence agency cannot well perform in advance and hence they are unable to foil the attempt(s) of foreign intelligence agencies. However, after the incident takes place, they usually succeed in exploring the whole history of the incident. The counter intelligence mechanism of Nepal is very weak. This is unfortunate.
TQ11: Besides India and Pakistan, which countries intelligence agencies' are also active inside Nepal?
Dhungana: Obviously the intelligence agencies of all the powerful countries are active here. But of late, Chinese intelligence too has increased its activities and surveillances in a dramatic manner. Chinese spies are making penetration not only in the Free Tibet Movement, but on all the possible fronts. But till now Chinese intelligence is making the Nepal government to do its desired work here. Unlike India, the Chinese spy has yet not appeared on the ground to get their concerns addressed.
Chinese assertiveness has increased to such a height that Nepal government cannot position any Chief Security Officers in the northern districts of Nepal adjoining border with China’s soft underbelly Tibet without the consent of Beijing. The involvement of India and other third countries in the Free Tibet Movement has cautioned Beijing and this has made the Beijing spies to increase their presence inside Nepal.
TQ12: It is often accused that a number of Nepali leaders are working as the agent(s) of foreign intelligence agencies. Do you think so? Is it a reliable story?
Dhungana: I prefer not to use the word 'agent'. But what is for sure is that the leaders ranging from the top to the bottom of Nepal's political system, bureaucracy and security agencies are under the direct influence of foreign intelligence agencies.
Some months ago, the Wikileaks had revealed that senior leader of CPN UML Mr. Bhim Rawal was excessively close to the diplomatic mission of America in Nepal. Beside this, officials of RAW meeting Prime Minister, President and Ministers of Nepal hit the media headline very often. A spy meeting with the executive head of country is a rare case, but it occurs frequently in Nepal. This shows that top brass of Nepal are also under the direct influence of foreign intelligence agencies.
Sometime in the long past, distance between Koirala family and India had widened. As a result, some of the influential family members went to the lap of Pakistan. Later, those family members calculated the pros and cons of getting involved into the Pakistan lobby and they tried their best to convince the Indian officials for their re-entry into the Indian lobby. This is just an example. Being close to the intelligence agencies of our neighboring countries has become a usual phenomenon here. Very sorry to say so.
TQ13: Mr. Dhungana, at the end, do you have any suggestion on how to curb the maneuvering of foreign intelligence and actors of trans-border crime in Nepal?
Dhungana: Prior to forwarding the recommendation, let me point out the root cause of the problem(s).
Indian intelligence and Chinese intelligence are active inside Nepal for protecting their respective security concerns inside Nepal. India and China are not convinced that Nepal's soil will never be used against them. Driven by the sense insecurity, they are becoming restive inside Nepal to protect their respective security concerns.
Let me illustrate it with an example. Pakistani intelligence involvement in racket of pumping counterfeit Indian currency inside Indian economy from Nepali soil has now become an open secret. Indian government has formally written to Nepal many times to take action against the people supposedly involved in this racket. But we, the Nepali, always take everything very lightly. Thus, the Indian intelligence is becoming active inside Nepal undermining even the sovereignty of Nepal.
When P. Chidambaram was the Finance Minister of India, pumping of fake Indian currency from Nepal by Pakistani nationals had increased dramatically. This had nearly shaken the entire Indian economy. After the reshuffling of the Indian cabinet, Chidambaram became Home Minister. Immediately after assuming the post of Home Minister, he adopted new modus operandi to tackle with the counterfeiters. As a consequence, Jamim Shah, Shaukat Beg and Majid Munihar were shot dead in broad day light inside Nepal and attempt of murder was made against Yunus Ansari inside the custody of central jail of Nepal. All the victims of the attack were accused by Indian media for being involved in pumping counterfeit money inside India.
To sum up, Nepal should do two things to check this situation. Firstly, Nepal should address the legitimate security concerns of our immediate neighboring countries so that they do not feel necessary to become active themselves. And secondly, Nepal should sign extradition treaty with India without compromising its national interests. That’s all.
Exclusive for telegraphnepal.com