Sunday, 3 March, 2024

Punish The Bad Cops

Nepal Police is the frontline government agency entrusted with the responsibility of providing security to the people and maintaining peace and order in the society through effective investigation and control of crime. Guided by the concept of rule of law and based on the jurisdiction prescribed by the Constitution, it has been involved in protecting human rights of people and giving the special legal protection to the weak and vulnerable. The idea of establishing Nepal Police came to the fore during the autocratic Rana time but it attained organisational shape and professional growth following the advent of democracy in 1951. However, it is no wonder when the various regimes that came to power in different periods used the police force to serve their own vested interests due to its vast networks and influence on the populace.  On the popular emblem of Nepal Police contain the lofty words – Truth, Service and Security. The entire police organisation has been doing it best to live up to this motto. Still there are cases involving some personnel who deviated from their duty ethics and ethos. A news report, carried by this daily on Tuesday, exposes the shortcomings and erosion of ethics of Nepal Police personnel. This certainly makes the people frustrated, impelling them to call for rigorous purification of conduct and discipline.

Citing the Nepal Police Headquarters’ statistics, the news report has stated that police have been implicated in various criminal charges like plotting murder, sexual abuse, tax evasion, drugs and gold smuggling, trading wildlife parts, abduction and ransom. In the latest incident, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shaurav Rana of the Federal Police Office, Dharan was sent to the custody on charge of sexual assault on a woman in Jhapa. There are bizarre types of illegal activities and authority abuse involving the junior as well as senior police officials. For example, DSP Hem Bahadur Shahi faced departmental action for demanding a goat from a Nepali Congress leader during his posting at the Area Police Office, Kohalpur. Last year only, SP Dilli Raj Bista of Kanchanpur was dismissed from service for erasing evidences of the rape and murder of 13-year old Nirmala Panta. Around 1,800 police personnel have so far been punished for breaching the existing law during the fiscal year 2018/19. Of them, 249 were given their marching orders.

These are bad examples of how the police personnel abuse their power and post to fulfil their greed and lust. There is a big disappointment when the security personnel that are assigned to check crimes and protect the people’s lives and property often run afoul of law. Misconduct on the part of cops does not only grind down the credibility and prestige of their organisation but it also endangers the life of commoners and give rise to lawlessness and conflict in the society. It is true that every organisation has good and bad people but it is simply unacceptable when the police personnel themselves get involved in criminal activities. In order to end such a sordid scenario, the police organisation should promote high moral values, professional ethics, transparency, meritocracy and system of reward and punishment. With sufficient resources and advanced technology, the Nepal Police must be able to get rid of the elements of nepotism, favouritism and political interference. If so, it will be clean, effective and more trustworthy and successful institution in the country.