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Owner of Nepal’s largest media organization arrested over citizenship card issue

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KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The owner of Nepal’s largest news organization has been arrested for allegedly violating the country’s citizenship laws over an issue with his citizenship card.

Kailash Sirohiya will be presented before a judge in a district court in south Nepal on Wednesday where a case has been filed against him.

He was arrested Tuesday at the Kathmandu offices of Kantipur Publications, which operates newspapers, television and radio stations, magazines and online news sites.

Sirohiya has denied any wrongdoing and accused Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane of seeking revenge for publishing news stories about alleged financial irregularities involving the minister.

Opposition political parties have protested against Lamichhane and sought his resignation over the alleged irregularities.

Police say that Sirohiya’s citizenship card has the same number as another person’s, which would violate the country’s citizenship laws.

National citizenship cards are issued to all Nepali adults and are the main document people use for identification, including during transactions.

Several people in the past have been known to make fake citizenship certificates, mainly in southern Nepal bordering India.