Kathmandu, Feb. 14: After the government announced the date of the local elections, the security agencies have begun preparation to formulate security plans and strategies. In particular, the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force (APF) have started planning on necessary budget, logistics, weapons, vehicles, communication sets, and other issues by designating separate senior officers in both the forces.
Nepal Police is currently discussing internally on the budget and equipment it requires for maintaining security during the local election scheduled for May 13. It has formed a central security cell under the leadership of AIG Sahakul Bahadur Thapa, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Bishnu Kumar KC, said.
Three other sub-committees have also been formed under the central security cell headed by DIGs Rabindra Singh Dhanuk, Basant Lama and SSP Rajesh Nath Banstola, SSP KC said. The sub-committees will work on budget, arms and ammunition and other election security plans, KC said. He said the proposal for the required budget to the Nepal Police has reached the Ministry of Finance from the Home Ministry.
“After discussions among the Ministry of Finance, Nepal Police and the Ministry of Home Affairs, a proposal has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance regarding the manpower, arms, vehicles, equipment and budget required for the local level elections. After the budget is approved, all the requirements for the election will be formally decided,” he said. For election security, the police will have to recruit temporary police, known as myadi police, manage budget and purchase necessary goods. According to sources at the Police Headquarters, Nepal Police has proposed a budget of Rs. 14 billion for
the election. It is yet to be approved by the Ministry of Finance, said the sources. Similarly, the police have also proposed to buy 723 vehicles. Police said that pickups, trucks, pickup vans and prisoner vans should be procured for the election. “Nepal Police have assumed that around 100,000 myadi police have to be recruited for the election purpose for at least three months,” SSP KC said. In 2017 elections, the government had recruited 75,000 temporary policemen. The Armed Police Force (APF) has also formed its separate election central cell headed by DIG Kalidas Dhauwaji of the Department of Operation and Border Security targeting the election. The budget for the APF is also being discussed at the Ministry of Finance. During the election, the Armed Police Force will be deployed outside the polling stations. Joint Secretary and Spokesperson for the Home Ministry Phadindra Mani Pokhrel said that the security bodies have been engaged in preparing election-centric security plans. A separate and high level central election security cell comprising senior ranking officials from the Nepali Army, Police, and APF and other agencies would also be formed at the Election Commission of Nepal, he said. Earlier, the then KP Sharma Oli-led government that had dissolved the House of Representatives and the Home Ministry had sought a budget of around Rs. 16 billion for election security alone. The amount was demanded along with the plan to spend on temporary police, vehicles, communication sets and so on. During the time, the two security bodies had sought their highest budget for purchasing vehicles. Fifteen hundred vehicles were proposed by the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force. Of them, 1,100 vehicles were demanded by Nepal Police and 400 by the APF. Apart from this, Nepali Army personnel will be deployed in the third and last layer of the security circle during the elections. Also, officers and personnel from the National Investigation Department will also be mobilised to collect information.