KATHMANDU, July 27: After exhausting all forms of standard techniques and investigation tools, Nepal Police decided to conduct polygraph test on twenty traffic police personnel who faced bribery allegations.
Almost all of the traffic police who were scrutinized by the lie detector tested positive, following which they faced departmental actions and suspension.
So far, Nepal Police has conducted polygraph tests on 35 policemen of different ranks after they were suspected for being involved in various crimes.
“We have zero tolerance against financial irregularities,” DIG Prakash Aryal, who heads the Metropolitan Police Traffic Division, said.
“The number of complaints against traffic police personnel has come down after we carried out awareness campaigns within the division and charged those found guilty,” DIG Aryal added.
Most of the complaints from the public against the traffic polices on duty are related to receiving bribes from traffic rule violators.
But most traffic police accused of taking bribes deny such allegations even when the authorities provide solid evidence such as photos, voice records and videos supporting the charges. “So we had no alternatives other than bringing them under lie detectors,” police officials said.
Ever since the polygraph test was introduced in 2014, Nepal Police has carried out polygraph tests on 1,093 individuals, including 35 policemen, to establish the case and protect innocents, according to Inspector Ganesh Shrestha of Polygraph Test Department of Nepal Police.
A polygraph is an instrument that records certain physiological changes in a person undergoing questioning in an effort to obtain truth or deception. During the tests, the device simultaneously records respiratory activity, galvanic skin resistance/conductivity and cardiovascular activities.
According to Inspector Shrestha, polygraph tests has been conducted on 550 suspects of murders, 209 thefts, 32 rapes, 87 bribes and financial anomalies, 31 frauds, 17 hostages taking, among others. Out of 1,093, about 476 suspects tested positive, 528 tested negative and the tests on the rest were inconclusive.
Nepal Police has 12 polygraph kits and 16 examiners in its regional police offices and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Office, Central Investigation Bureau, Special Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau among others.
Traffic police to make insurance claim difficult for drunk drivers
Meanwhile, the division has also decided to mention drunk driving in its recommendation letter sought for claiming insurance if the accident resulted under the effect of alcohol.
The division official said that majority of road accidents in Kathmandu Valley result due to over speeding and reckless driving under the influence of alcohol. “It becomes harder to claim insurance if drunk driving is mentioned as the cause of accident in the recommendation letter from the police,” police officials said.