Two AIGs Shailesh Thapa and Hari Bahadur Pal are the two contenders for the post of police chief
KATHMANDU, July 7: With the incumbent Inspector General of Police (IGP) Thakur Prasad Gyawaly retiring from the service on Wednesday, a cabinet meeting scheduled for later today is set to appoint the new chief of Nepal Police.
The mandatory retirement of incumbent IGP Gyawali on the ground of a 30-year service limit paves the way for one of the two Additional Inspectors General (AIGs) – Shailesh Thapa and Hari Bahadur Pal – to be the next top cop to lead around 70,000-strong force for the next 22 months, since another senior AIG Tarini Prasad Lamsal is retiring along with IGP Gyawaly.
Nepal Police insiders say both Thapa and Pal are considered equally competent police officers within the organization and there are chances of any of the two officers to make it to the post of police chief. Since both Thapa and Pal were appointed as AIGPs on the same day, it largely depends on the choice of the government who will finally get the coveted post.
AIGs Thapa and Pal have set a new precedent within the police organization this time as both of them have started away from the character assassination of each other - something the contenders of the post of police chief used to do in the past. Interestingly, both Thapa and Pal have also restrained themselves from making 'open lobby' with the political leaders to become the IGP.
"Unlike in the past, both the AIGs are in good talking terms, and they recently attended an event together," a high-ranked official at the Nepal Police Headquarters, told Republica, adding that both the AIGs had reached a gentleman's agreement not to assassinate each other's character in their fight for the post of IGP and work together no matter who makes it to the post of new police chief.
Both Thapa and Pal joined Nepal Police on the same day as police inspectors in 1994. They have been promoted together from Deputy Superintendent of Police to AIG. "Thapa is like a diplomatic person, while Pal has been successful in handling even most-difficult crime cases," said the official, asking not to be named.
Neither Thapa nor Pal has courted any kind of controversies in their three-decade long career with the Nepal Police. Currently, Thapa heads the Human Resource and Administration Department, while Pal is the head of the Operation and Crime Investigation Department.
Born in Darchula district, Pal served at the district police offices in Rupandehi, Dhanusa, Kaski, Dhangadhi, and Kathmandu. He has also served as the chief of Metropolitan Police Crime Division, Province Police Office, Janakpur and Special Bureau of Nepal Police.
Likewise, AIG Thapa, who was born in Bhaktapur, has served at district police offices in Salyan, Sindhupalchowk, Dhading, Kaski and Jhapa. He has also headed the Metropolitan Police Office and National Police Training Academy. Likewise, Thapa also served as the central spokesperson of Nepal Police before his promotion to the post of AIGP.