Commanders of BOPs and APF Bases to be changed every 6 months

Published On: March 20, 2023 08:15 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 20: The Armed Police Force (APF), which is in charge of border security, will change the leadership of Border Out Post (BOP) and Base Command every six months.

This arrangement has been made to make transfers in the APF justifiable and predictable.

By implementing the ‘Armed Police Personnel Positioning, Transfer and Deputation Guidelines 2079’ and ‘Security Base Exchange Guidelines 2079’, the period of stay of BOP and Base Commander in one place has been reduced to six months.

In the border area, BOP commanders, base commanders and company commanders complained of irregularities. So, now it has been arranged to change them every six months.

Inspector General of APF Raju Aryal made this arrangement less than a year after assuming command to prevent irregularities at BOP and Base Command.

“The armed police want no complaints from the border area as far as possible. Accordingly, guidelines and procedures have been issued,” said an official from IGP Aryal’s secretariat.

According to the issued guidelines, those who have once commanded a battalion, company, Base, BOP, etc. in the Armed Police will be allowed to command in the first place only after the turn of other officers. Accordingly, all officers will get the opportunity to command BOP, Base, and companies.

Those who are in command for a long time and mount pressure on the IGP by frequenting the political power centers will be released from the organization. In APF in recent times, the tendency of the officers frequenting various political power centers to be deputed or transferred to the BOPs and not obeying the chain of command has increased.

According to the same guidelines, the APF had transferred battalion commanders and company commanders a month ago. Only two days ago, the Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) and Police Inspectors were transferred according to the same directives.

After the APF took over the command of border security, it is said that there has been a reduction in cross-border smuggling. When the same person held the command of the BOPs and APF companies for a long time, the APF commanders were accused of being involved in activities such as smuggling and customs evasion in the border area.

The APF pulled some Superintendents of Police (SPs) working in the Terai districts to the center and sent new commanders in their place.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Purushottam Thapa, who is also the spokesperson for the APF, said that the latest transfers are also in accordance with the new procedures and guidelines that have been issued now.

According to the procedures prepared by the organization, the officers who have not been given the opportunity to command the BOP so far have been transferred there with priority.

“Those who have already got the opportunity have been given second priority,” said DIG Thapa, “Based on the seniority prepared on the basis of evaluation, command responsibilities have been assigned to Border Security company, BOP, and Temporary Security Bases respectively.” Even though they are not listed in the command forecast list, it is said that the officers who are soon going to retire based on the service duration and those who have received fewer command opportunities in the past have also been given the responsibility of command.

APF personnel are also attacked by smugglers in Terai and border areas. That is why the number of manpower will be increased in the places considered sensitive. Considering security sensitivity and other aspects, the APF is going to appoint DSPs to command BOPs. As the number of armed police personnel stationed in the border area is very low, smugglers easily attack the police.

Last year, a group of Indian smugglers escaped after attacking the armed police of the border area in Dodhara Chandani Municipality-8 Sundarnagar area of Kanchanpur. The armed police, operating in small numbers, have been repeatedly attacked and surrounded by Nepali and Indian smuggling groups. In the border area of Gaurigunj Rural Municipality-5 of Jhapa, armed police are also attacked by Indian smugglers. In districts like Mahottari, Parsa, Bara, Dhanusha, Siraha, Saptari, Banke, Bardiya, etc, armed police are also attacked by smugglers.

As proposed by the armed police, there will be 115 BOPs led by inspectors, 28 bases led by DSPs and 51 bases led by inspectors. At present, there are 228 BOPs in the armed police, eight in the north and 220 in the south.

There are APF bases in the hilly areas. A BOP usually has 35 personnel under the leadership of an inspector, but several BOPs do not have that manpower. Initially, 50 APF personnel were deployed under the command of an inspector at a BOP. However, as the number of BOPs increased but the manpower did not increase, now there are 35 APF personnel stationed under the command of an inspector at a BOP. But as some of them are on leave, some are sick and others have to guard the barracks, usually only 20 to 22 personnel are mobilized in the border areas.

Recently, based on the sensitivity of the border areas, the APF has proposed 48 companies for manning the BOPs. The BOPs will function by remaining under company control. 

Usually in a company, there are 160 APF personnel. The then Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa had decided to increase the number of BOPs along the border. But APF officials complain that the government has not provided manpower accordingly. 

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