KATHMANDU, September 6: The Home Ministry has instructed all three security agencies under it to stay on "high alert" as the government prepares for the US aid project, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), to be endorsed through the parliament.
The ministry has given such instructions to Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and the National Investigation Department keeping in mind the possibility of nationwide agitation that might escalate after the MCC agreement is tabled in the parliament for endorsement.
“There may be some problems in terms of law and order situation. We have been advised to stay on high alert throughout this month. The movement against MCC is going on now. The anti-India movement may also escalate. With these issues in mind, there is a directive to strengthen the security situation,” said a senior security source. “Security forces are always on high alert round the clock but abnormal situations are likely to arise.”
MCC Vice President Fatema Sumar is coming to Kathmandu on Tuesday to discuss the MCC issue with government officials. The government has not only placed the security forces on high alert, but also issued a statement appealing not to oppose the MCC and India.
Despite an agreement with the Government of Nepal in 2017 to implement the $500 million MCC project in Nepal, it has not been approved in the parliament. Sumar is scheduled to hold meeting Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, the main opposition party, CPN-UML, leader KP Sharma Oli, Chairman of the CPN-Maoist Center Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Chairman of the CPN (Unified Socialist) Madhav Kumar Nepal and others to request for the implementation of the MCC.
“It makes sense for MCC Vice President Sumar to come to Nepal and a parliamentary session scheduled a day later. The directive to tighten the security situation also indicates that the MCC will be tabled in the parliament,” said a security official.
A coalition partner of the Nepali Congress (NC) led government has taken to the street against Indian intervention in the border area and the preparations of the government to endorse the MCC. The government has also warned all those not to stage protests that harm Nepal’s bilateral relations with other countries.
The government on Friday warned the youths not to protest after Jayasingh Dhami of Darchula fell into the Mahakali River and disappeared after being cut off by Indian SSB personnel.
There is dissatisfaction over the Home Ministry’s probe report on the disappearance of Jayasingh in the Mahakali River after SSB personnel allegedly cut off the tuin that was put in place over Mahakali River. In this context, anti-Indian sentiments are being aroused across the country after India stated that it had no information from the Nepali government about the Jayasingh Dhami incident.
The Home Ministry has issued a statement warning against anti-MCC and anti-India agitations. Officials said the statement was mainly aimed at the anti-MCC activities.
For the past few days, agitation has been going on in Kathmandu over the disappearance of Jayasingh and MCC.
The Home Ministry has asked not to engage in any activities that could jeopardize relations with friendly countries. The ministry has also warned of taking legal action against those involved in such activities.
The main opposition party, CPN-UML Vice President Bhim Rawal, has been vehemently opposing the MCC. Rawal, who is also a former home minister, has challenged the government to arrest him for his involvement in the protest against the MCC.
Rawal said that passing the MCC would be tantamount to committing a treason. Leaders of the CPN-Maoist Center including Dev Gurung, Lilamani Pokhrel and Energy Minister Pampha Bhusal are also seen opposing the MCC. Bhusal is currently serving as the Minister for Energy in the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led cabinet.
A federal parliament session has been convened on September 8 to table the MCC agreement in the parliament. The government has taken the strategy of getting the MCC approved at any cost through the parliament.