Kathmandu: Famed mountaineer Nirmal Purja, also known as “Nimsdai,” has been found obtaining Nepali citizenship illegally while holding a British passport.
Purja, who gained fame for setting a world record by climbing all 14 mountains above 8,000 meters in just seven months, is alleged to have obtained a Nepali passport in 2016, despite already being a British citizen.
According to records obtained by Ukeraa, Purja got a British passport on June 28, 2012, which listed his nationality as British. Despite this, he obtained a Nepali passport on March 15, 2016, listing his place of birth as Myagdi and his citizenship number as 1799.
Nepal's law does not allow for dual citizenship, and obtaining a passport using false citizenship is a punishable crime. If someone is found holding dual citizenship, he or she has to face maximum three years imprisonment.
Purja’s Nepali passport, according to an official of the Immigration Department of Nepal, is inactive since 2019.
“Though Purja took a Nepali passport in 2016, our records show that this passport has been inactive since 2019. He is using a British passport when traveling Nepal,” said a department official.
The records from Immigration Department shows that he has been coming to Nepal on visit visas from time to time using the British passport.
However, despite having a British passport, on March 15, 2016, Purja took a Nepali passport as a Nepali citizen.
He took a passport from the passport department with Myagdi birthplace and Nepali citizenship number 1799. The passport number is 09647094 with a validity of 10 years.
According to the information obtained by Ukeraa, even after becoming a British citizen, he is still using Nepali citizenship against the laws of Nepal.
Nepal's law does not allow dual citizenship. There is a legal provision that a Nepalese citizen becomes a citizen of another country and his/her Nepalese citizenship becomes inactive.
According to the law of Nepal, soon after he became a British citizen, his Nepali citizenship automatically became inactive. But he not only made a Nepali passport, but also used it for travel purposes.
Recently Ukeraa has revealed a similar incident where Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane was found obtaining a Nepali passport illegally.
A constitutional bench of the Supreme Court is investigating Lamichhane's citizenship case.
Nirmal Purja is a record mountaineer and former British Gurkha soldier. He set a world record by successfully climbing all 14 mountains above 8000 meters above sea level in less than 7 months (189 days).
Born in 1983 in Annapurna Rural Municipality-3, Dana, Myagdi Nepal, he has served 16 years in the British Army and spent 10 years in the UK Special Forces (UKSF).
According to the book 'Beyond Possible', he started climbing the mountain in December 2012.
His photo of a traffic jam on Mount Everest while climbing Mount Everest went viral in the media. He became more famous after a documentary about him climbing the mountains was released on Netflix.
Lately, he has been going back and forth between Britain and Nepal. He has opened a showroom in NagPokhari area of Kathmandu to sell trekking related materials under his own brand 'NIMSDAI'.
The evidence obtained by Ukeraa confirmed that Purja had taken dual citizenship and acted contrary to the Citizenship Act and the Passport Act.
Ukeera’s effort to get comments on this story from his agent in Kathmandu and him through WhatsApp received no response.
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