By Purushottam P. Khatri
Kathmandu, Feb. 4: Nepal Police upholds the motto of ‘Truth, Service and Security’. Constitutionally, Nepal Police is also handed the responsibility to safeguard the rule of law by maintaining peace and harmony in the society, besides investigating into the crime. But to everyone’s great dismay, some of the policemen have been found involved in illegal acts and being fired from service.
If the Nepal Police Headquarters statistics are anything to go by, police are involved in various criminal charges like plotting murder, sex abuse, tax evasion, drugs and gold smuggling, trading wildlife parts, abduction and ransom, and other organised crimes.
In the latest incident, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shaurav Rana of the Federal Police Office, Dharan was arrested on Saturday by the District Police Office, Sunsari on charge of sexual assault on a woman in Jhapa, after the District Court gave an order to arrest him on Friday (January 31).
There is record in Nepal Police against DSP Hem Bahadur Shahi during his posting at the Area Police Office, Kohalpur, who had asked for a he-goat from a leader of a sister organisation of Nepali Congress Keshar Khadka. DSP Shahi faced departmental action over the case.
Last year only, SP Dillil Raj Bista of Kanchanpur was sacked from the service, who was allegedly involved in the murder of 13-year old Nirmala Panta after rape. He was sacked from the service on October 25, 2018. Police inspector Jagadish Bhatta was also given elbow in the same case.
In May 2018, two police personnel - Pateshwore Yadav and Prem Khadka of Riot Control Police Office, Sunawal - were dragged into a gang rape charge. Both of them were arrested and sacked from the service.
Similarly, on February 5, 2018, SSP Shyam Khatri was arrested on charge of 33.5 kg gold smuggling scam while he was stationed at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Around two years ago, police had arrested Khatri in connection with another gold smuggling case. The court, however, acquitted him.
Likewise, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) nabbed DSP Nabin Krishna Bhandari, in-charge of Metropolitan Police Circle, Balaju, for his alleged link to the September 26 bribery scam.
The corruption watchdog had arrested assistant sub-inspector Chandra Singh Bhat of MRP together with constable Pushkar Shah and Binod Thapa, an alleged middleman, from his office chamber while receiving Rs 5,00,000 from a service-seeker as ‘Dashain expense’ on September 26. They had taken the bribe ‘for the settlement of a kidnap case’.
According to the records of Nepal Police Headquarters, 1,800 police personnel faced various actions during the fiscal year 2018/19 and 249 were sacked.
In the last five years, 10,511 police employees faced different actions with 1,453 being sacked. Such actions were taken from followers up to DIG level, according to Nepal Police spokesperson and DIG Shailesh Thapa Chhetri.
DIG Chhetri said in every organization, there are individuals having good and bad conduct. “Nepal Police have not let anyone implicated guilty and who go beyond the given mandate of the organization,” he said. Police personnel having criminal and ill intention must be punished at any time to make the force trustworthy and win people’s confidence, he said.
Every small bad conduct will be enough to tarnish the image and dignity of Nepal Police, he said.
Meanwhile, a retired DIG Hemanta Malla said that police personnel involve themselves in criminal and corruption charges when they wish to earn huge amount of money in a short period of time.