Published On: March 5, 2023 09:00 AM NPT By: Sajira Shrestha
KATHMANDU, March 5: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has instructed the district administration offices across the country to prevent wrongful activities against Banks and Financial Institutions (BFIs).
MoHA has given this instruction after the organized attacks against BFIs in recent days. According to Secretary of MoHA Binod Prasad Singh, the ministry has given instructions to be careful and manage security for the safety of banks and financial institutions and to increase surveillance on such activities.
On February 13, Durga Prasain, a medical entrepreneur, held a meeting in Jhapa and warned the employees of banks and financial institutions that people would smear black soot on them. While the former king Gyanendra Shah was on the stage, Prasain told the employees of banks, microfinance and cooperative institutions that his team is ready to smear the black soot on them if the loan of up to two million rupees is not waived.
"There is nothing wrong with smearing those employees with black soot. The police will take us into custody and we can leave after four or five days," Prasain had said two weeks ago in Jhapa. "Under the leadership of Satish Pokhrel, we have even formed a group to smear black soot on the employees of financial institutions all over the country."
“If the employees of microfinance come to your village, just catch them and smear black soot all over their face. Incase these employees torture you, just wait for them outside their office and smear black soot all over their face. The case can be filed only if you go inside the bank,” he said.
On February 20, an unknown group smeared black soot on a microfinance employee who went to Bheri Municipality in Jajarkot to collect installments. The controversial medical entrepreneur had even launched a campaign encouraging not depositing money in banks in Dhangadhi of Kailali on March 2 as the agitation against banks and financial institutions.
Similarly, on Saturday itself, Prasain organized a mass campaign ‘to save the nation, nationality, religion, culture and citizens’ in Maitighar Mandala, in which the protestors raised slogans like ‘King should come and save the country’, ‘All hail Hindu nation’ and ‘Abolish federalism.’
The Prasain-led campaign has appealed to the government to address their 13-point demands such as restoring Nepal as a Hindu nation, abolishing federalism, reducing bank interest rates and waiving loans up to Rs 2 million.
Durga Prasai, who was a central member of CPN-UML was expelled from the party as well. The sixteenth secretariat meeting of UML held on February 25 decided to expel him from the party on charge of being involved in activities against the party's policy.
Meanwhile, such an expression attracts an offense against public peace in Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code. It is included in Section 2 of such an offense that states that one should not spread false rumors. "No one should spread rumors, spread propaganda or hold slogans, as it is done in such a way as to disturb the public peace, cause riots or disturb the sovereignty, geographical or territorial integrity of Nepal or harmonious relations between different castes, castes or sects."
However, Prasain’s expression is seen to disturb peace and security by inciting people. In some parts of the country, the incident of smearing black soot has also been reported. There is a provision for one year imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 for those who commit such an act.
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