'No plan to remove police chief'

November 15, 2016 05:57 AM Kamal Pariyar

KATHMANDU, Nov 15: Dismissing media reports which claimed that the government is preparing to remove Inspector General of Police (IGP) Upendra Kanta Aryal, Home Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi on Monday said that there was no such plan to relieve the police chief from his duties.

Home Secretary Regmi told Republica that Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi has taken no initiative to remove the incumbent chief of Nepal Police till date.

“Not even a single talk has been held regarding this issue. Neither the home minister nor any other concerned officials have taken any initiative to relieve the IGP,” assured Home Secretary Regmi.

Earlier, media reports had claimed that the government was preparing to remove IGP Aryal by introducing a new regulation to shorten the tenure of the police chief. IGP Aryal is due to retire on mid-March this year. 

“We are working on preparing a draft of regulation to bring the Nepal Police under the federal structure but nothing regarding the tenure of the top post has been changed in the existing provisions,” he added. The Home Ministry also clarified that no police regulation draft was registered to shorten the four-year tenure of the IGP to three years.

Regmi also informed that the Home Ministry is on the verge of making the police force more professional, stable and dynamic but not weakening the force by unnecessarily reshuffling the leadership at a crucial period.

“Our prime motto at present is to hold elections announced by the government,” Home Secretary Regmi said adding that the home ministry is totally focused on introducing six necessary regulations for the elections. Media reports had highlighted that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba had reached an understanding to replace IGP Aryal before his term expires.

Incumbent AIGs were reportedly said to be intensifying lobbying with ruling parties to land the coveted post. However, the Nepal Police had been rubbishing such claims as baseless rumors. 

Nevertheless, the relation between IGP Aryal and Home Minister Nidhi has soured after the police chief opposed the minister's bid to withdraw cases against some of those involved in the Tikapur killings last year, according to the Home Ministry officials. They also said that Nidhi's failed attempts to transfer some top police officers in some Madhes districts had also culminated in the relationship turning sour.

Experts have also suggested that there was no logical reason to bring change in the tenure of the IGP arguing that the whole career plan of the force would be adversely affected. If the government makes an attempt to axe the incumbent IGP, the institution would continue to suffer for a long time as it would set a wrong precedent for political parties to impose their will in the future, said an expert who did not want to be named.

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