Kantipur, a leading Nepali National daily which claims to be the largest selling newspaper in the country, has been hit by a plagiarism scandal a la Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair after one of its staff writers was found to have published a number of technology related articles that originally appeared in the New York Times under his own byline without giving any credit to the original source.
Aashis Luintel, coordinator and technology writer of 'Hello Sukrabar', a Friday supplement published by Kantipur, featuring lifestyle, entertainment, information-technology (IT) and youth related topics is learnt to have been removed from his responsibility after more than half a dozen articles related to technology sector he published under his name were found to be heavily borrowed or even copied from the New York Times.
After some regular readers of the supplement exposed Luintel's brash plagiarism in their blogs and twitter posts, Kantipur issued a "corrigendum" in the supplement's February 3, 2012 edition that the source of article published under 'Wiki Tech' by Luintel should have been New York Times including other news agencies and that the it was "omitted due to technical error".
Kantipur Daily's editor Sudhir Sharma took to twitter and wrote, "Dear readers, Hello Sukrabar issue is under investigation.@Aashisluitel has been removed from his responsibility as the coordinator."
After his plagiarism was exposed, Luitel also took to twitter to extend his apologies personally, "Really SORRY for d mistake I did! It was unintentionally/with positive aspect though! Realized that I was wrong! My readers are awesome (sic)."
Nepalnews has obtained proofs of at least two IT-related articles published by Ashis Luitel which makes it clear that he had copied his pieces (verbatim) from David Pogue's columns published in the New York Times.
Regular readers of Hello Sukrabar as well as bloggers are demanding an apology from Kantipur executives for the plagiarism scandal.
Even four days after the issue was brought to light, Kantipur is yet to come with an "official" position on the scandal. nepalnews.com