The intermediate toppers’ scam of Bihar has cascaded beyond the international border to cast a shadow on the neighbouring Himalayan republic of Nepal.
The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal on Friday arrested 15 doctors, nine of them from Birgunj, bordering Raxaul in East Champaran, on the charge of pursuing MBBS course using forged intermediate examination certificates procured from Bihar.
The arrested doctors, including three from Biratnagar and two from Chitwan, both in Nepal, were working in various hospitals as well as doing private practice after obtaining MBBS degrees from colleges in Nepal and China.
After the Bihar intermediate scam surfaced, the Nepal government initiated an inquiry into matriculation and Class 12 certificates issued from Bihar to people of border towns in India and Nepal. “We found many certificates to be fake,” a Nepal government official said.
Those arrested included Dr Saroj Singh, Dr Kush Raj Giri, Dr Panna Lal Patel (all posted at state owned-Birgunj Narayani hospital), Dr Rahullah of National Medical College and Hospital, Birgunj, and leading private practitioners Dr Arun Kumar and Dr Binod Shan.
Protesting against the arrests, hundreds of medical professionals thronged the office of Birgunj superintendent of police and shouted slogans against the local administration, demanding the immediate release of the doctors.
The CIB move has also not gone down well with the Nepal Medical Association (NMA). NMA president Dr Anjani Kumar Jha said the CIB was treating doctors like terrorists. “This is not acceptable,” he said.
On Saturday, all employees and doctors posted at health centres and hospitals in Birgunj abstained from duty and took to the streets against what they called “humiliation of doctors” in Nepal.