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Jun 30, 2010 at 01:05pm IST

Nepal agrees to release Naga minister

Kohima: Nagaland Home Minister Imkong L Imchen was detained and questioned at the Kathmandu airport on Wednesday for carrying a suitcase full of Indian currency notes in the denomination of Rs 1000 and Rs 500, which is banned in Nepal.

Nepal authorities have now agreed to release him. Sources say the minister is free to go to Delhi.

“The minister had come to travel with his family. He did not know that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currencies are banned in Nepal. His family has been released and will travel to Delhi soon. The minister also will be sent to Delhi by Wednesday evening,” said Indian Embassy officials in Nepal.

Official sources here said the minister was not aware of the ban.

“Minister may not have been aware of the fact that Rs 500 notes are banned in Nepal,” said Nagaland Chief Secretary Lathara.

“The Home Minister was returning to India from Nepal,” Lathara added.

The sources said that after receiving the information, the government immediately informed Union Home Minister P Chidambaram about the detention.

Abu Metha, Press Secretary to the state chief minister, told PTI that Indians frequently face the problem in Nepal as most of them are not aware of the ban.

While it was not known how much amount the minister was carrying, unconfirmed reports said he had Rs 9 lakh with him.