NEPAL POLICE Ever Vigilant

Even in the midst of political instability and turmoil of a half century, Nepal Police established itself as a professional organization to maintain law and order in the country<br>A CORRESSPONDENT

Oct. 11, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 04 No.-09 Oct. -08-2010(Ashwin 22, 2067)

From the chaotic roads of Kathmandu Valley to remote parts of the country, Nepal Police personnel are seen on duty easing traffic and providing security. In case of disasters like floods, fires, landslides, quakes, and road and air accidents, these people in uniform stand in the frontline of rescue operations. At other times, they may be tackling with miscreants of several hues, from petty criminals to professional gangsters.

This is how modern and professional Nepal Police performs its duty. Normalcy cannot be imagined without the presence of the police. Though they may have been overburdened and overstretched, Nepal Police personnel are maintaining vigilance all round the clock.

The country has passed through several phases of political turmoil and instability putting different demands on the police organization. Yet Nepal Police has functioned normally all the time. It has been able to establish itself as a professional police force in guaranteeing security to citizens and establishing law and order in the society.

“Nepal Police has faced several upheavals and turmoils. I myself have seen many upheavals and changes during my 28-year long career. But I can claim that Nepal Police is a highly professional organization. Some new institutions emerged during this period but Nepal Police remained the sole organization to provide security and maintain law and order within limited resources,” said Inspector General of Police Ramesh Chandra Thakuri (read interview).

“Despite some shortcomings, Nepal Police is capable to fulfill its duty. We are able to arrest criminals, operate rescue operations, regulate roads and provide security. Finally, Nepal Police stands as a frontline force in every demanding situation.”

Nevertheless, the organization has many critics as well as admirers.

Limited equipment, shortage of manpower and other facilities handicap the organization from performing its best.

As an institution which needs to work in direct contact with the people, Nepal Police always comes under scrutiny of the common people. Hence, complaints about rights violation and ineffective service delivery by the police are heard often.

“Nepal Police has improved its human rights record a lot but it still needs to go a long way,” said Gauri Pradhan, member of National Human Rights Commission. “Nepal Police needs to train its officials giving high priority to rights based approach. Often, police use force brutally as in the past,” said Pradhan.

Others suggest the need to change its traditional approach. “It is very unfortunate that the mobility of Nepal Police is still slow. It needs to reach the spot of incidents within a short time. There is the need to change its modus operandi,” said a former police officer on condition of anonymity.

Security experts argue that the main problem with Nepal Police is its politicization. There is a big surprise about why Nepal’s politicians who hardly stick to one constitution willingly support a single act governing the police organisation. Nepal has changed four constitutions but one unique character of Nepal Police is that it is still guided by Nepal Police Act 1956. Nepal Police Regulation 1958, however, was amended several times under which Nepal Police was organizationally overhauled.

“The post and position in Nepal Police often depend upon the wish of the Home Minister. Since Nepal Police regulations gives space to maneuver, nobody needs to go for amendment of the act. Had the organization changed through the amendment of act, it would have become more institutionalized.

“I formed a committee to amend Nepal Police Act to make it institutionally capable but I could not complete that task,” said former home minister Govinda Raj Joshi. “I have to admit that Nepal Police is directed and controlled by the Home Minister and the organization is not run by the government but according to the wishes of the Home Minister.”

After 1990, Nepal Police was given its main responsibility to maintain internal security. “With the limited number of personnel, Nepal Police has been doing quite a good job to maintain law and order in the society. Recently, they even arrested gangsters. They have been doing a thankless job. When I was the home minister, there were 57,000 in police force but only 17,000 3x3 rifles. To maintain security of the country, the number of armed police and Nepal Police needs to increase up to 100,000 each. There should be no resource constraints,” said Joshi.

The police strength has increased with the formation of two armed police barracks but it is not enough. “In hills, our police posts have still less manpower than needed and one police post has to cover large areas. For instance, in some cases, it takes even two days from the post to walk to its own boundary. There are 8-10 police personnel at the lowest police post. That is not adequate in the hills. At least it takes two to three days to go from one unit to another. Even in terai, we cannot respond immediately in case of incidents. Out of the total number, 300-400 units are temporary. There is the need to have at least a police unit in each Village Development Committee and a police station is required in each ward in the terai,” said IGP Thakuri.

According to the PHQ Stats, Nepal Police has confiscated large amount of counterfeit currencies, fire arms, and explosives and released a number of abductees safely in the recent days.

Police seized firearms, Short Barrel- 327 (Ammo.790 Rounds) and Long Barrel- 62 (Ammo. 325 Rounds). Similarly, Nepal Police also discovered explosives like Hand Grenade- 4, Socket Bomb- 30, Time Bomb- 1, Pipe Bomb- 17, Sutali Bomb- 14, Detonator- 352, Safety Fuse- 229 m, Guillotine- 76 kg, Guillotine Bar- 68 and Gunpowder- 53 kg. Besides, 51 abductees were safely released through police action and initiative.

Although Nepal Police has a history of over 146 years or since 1864, its process of modernization began just after the revolution of 1950. During the Rana Regime 1864-1951, the Police performed very traditional works to maintain order in society. Following the fall of Rana Regime in 1951, steps were taken to modernize police.

No institution in the country which has been in the frontline of all changes like Nepal Police and faced all political turmoil and change has achieved what it did in surviving and establishing as a professional organization. After 1990, Nepal Police was given its main responsibility to maintain internal security. “With the limited number of personnel, Nepal Police has been doing quite a good job to maintain law and order in the society. Recently, they even arrested gangsters. They have been doing a thankless job. When I was the home minister, there were 57,000 in police force but only 17,000 3x3 rifles. To maintain security of the country, the number of armed police and Nepal Police needs to increase up to 100,000 each. There should be no resource constraints,” said Joshi.

The police strength has increased with the formation of two armed police barracks but it is not enough. “In hills, our police posts have still less manpower than needed and one police post has to cover large areas. For instance, in some cases, it takes even two days from the post to walk to its own boundary. There are 8-10 police personnel at the lowest police post. That is not adequate in the hills. At least it takes two to three days to go from one unit to another. Even in terai, we cannot respond immediately in case of incidents. Out of the total number, 300-400 units are temporary. There is the need to have at least a police unit in each Village Development Committee and a police station is required in each ward in the terai,” said IGP Thakuri.

According to the PHQ Stats, Nepal Police has confiscated large amount of counterfeit currencies, fire arms, and explosives and released a number of abductees safely in the recent days.

Police seized firearms, Short Barrel- 327 (Ammo.790 Rounds) and Long Barrel- 62 (Ammo. 325 Rounds). Similarly, Nepal Police also discovered explosives like Hand Grenade- 4, Socket Bomb- 30, Time Bomb- 1, Pipe Bomb- 17, Sutali Bomb- 14, Detonator- 352, Safety Fuse- 229 m, Guillotine- 76 kg, Guillotine Bar- 68 and Gunpowder- 53 kg. Besides, 51 abductees were safely released through police action and initiative.

Although Nepal Police has a history of over 146 years or since 1864, its process of modernization began just after the revolution of 1950. During the Rana Regime 1864-1951, the Police performed very traditional works to maintain order in society. Following the fall of Rana Regime in 1951, steps were taken to modernize police.

No institution in the country which has been in the frontline of all changes like Nepal Police and faced all political turmoil and change has achieved what it did in surviving and establishing as a professional organization.

More on National

The Latest

Latest Magazine

VOL 12 No.04, September 07, 2018 (Bhadra 22, 2075) Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

VOL 12 No.03, August 17, 2018 (Bhadra 01, 2075) Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

VOL 12 No.02, August 03, 2018 (Shrawan 18, 2075) Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

VOL 12 No.01, July 20, 2018 (Shrawan 04, 2075) Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75