Lalitpur Police Range without chief for five days following Balkumari incident

Published On: January 3, 2024 06:30 PM NPT By: Tapendra Karki

KATHMANDU, Jan 3: The position of the Chief at Lalitpur Police Range has been vacant for five days following the Balkumari incident that resulted in the death of two individuals in Balkumari, Lalitpur.

The role of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Siddhi Bikram Shah remains unoccupied after his transfer to the Police Headquarters, with no chief appointed during this period. Currently, SP Nawraj Karki is serving as the acting chief.

There is a provision for the transfer of the SSP to be made by the decision of the Home Minister. According to sources at the police headquarters, as Narayan Kaji Shrestha, the senior vice chairman of the CPN (Maoist Center), is the home minister, he is seeking for a police officer closer to him, so he is delaying the process of transferring the new chief.

Although Home Minister Shrestha had recently asserted that he would not interfere in transfers or promotions at the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee, sources suggest that his secretariat's team is hindering the appointment process for a new chief at Lalitpur Police Range.

The Nepal Police Headquarters is considering the transfer of SSPs Dinesh Acharya, Rajendra Bhatt, or Dinesh Mainali. However, competition and internal conspiracies among the SSPs are impeding the appointment. The Police Headquarters had planned to transfer either SSP Dinesh Acharya from the Central Investigation Bureau, Rajendra Bhatt from the Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Division, or Dinesh Mainali from the Kathmandu Valley Police Office to Lalitpur Police Range. A source stated, "If there is no pressure from any power center, the police headquarters is ready to transfer one of them."

Sources indicate that the transfer of SSPs Acharya, Bhatt, and Mainali, who have not been assigned in charge since their promotion to SSP, is likely. Mainali, as the spokesperson for the Kathmandu Valley, is slated for transfer, having not served in an in-charge capacity previously. SSP Bhatt, currently a spokesperson for the Kathmandu Metropolitan Traffic Division, has held the position for 14 months. SSP Acharya, working in the CIB, conducted an investigation into the smuggling of 60 kg of gold from Hong Kong.

"As the senior police officers are Acharya and Bhatt, the Inspector General of Police Basanta Kuwar also wants to transfer one of them as the chief of the Police Range," mentioned a source from the police headquarters. Besides them, some officers have been assigned to lead Lalitpur district based on their abilities, while others have secured positions based on their connections.

Certain SSPs are actively seeking transfers through Home Minister Shrestha's team, with some already visiting the secretariats of Sher Bahadur Deuba and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. An SSP commented, "Everyone has a desire to command, and nothing happens without the blessings of power."

Several SSPs, including Himalaya Kumar Shrestha, Shekhar Khanal, Bishwa Adhikari, Deepak Regmi, Sanuram Bhattarai, Prabin Pokharel, and Mukunda Marasini, have expressed their interest in assuming the position of chief at Lalitpur Police Range.

After the death of two youths who wanted to go for foreign employment due to the use of 'lethal' force by the police in Lalitpur's Balkumari on Friday, the chief of Lalitpur Police Range, SSP Shah was transferred to the Police Headquarters.

SSP Shah assumed the post of Lalitpur Police Range chief a year ago. As his transfer period has also expired, the Police Headquarters has transferred him.

Birendra Shah of Achham was hit in the stomach by a bullet fired by security personnel in Lalitpur. It has been confirmed that Shah was shot by the self-loading rifle (SLR) fired by the police. Bruises were found on the chest of Sujan Rawat, a resident of Dailekh. Security officials said that Sujan was not shot, but may have died in the stampede.

Last Friday, those seeking to work in Korea through the Employment Permit System (EPS) gathered at the EPS Korea branch in Gwarko as early as 7AM that day. Those who failed in the examination taken for the shipbuilding company demanded to be allowed to fill the form in the manufacturing sector as well. During the clashes, the situation became tense beyond the control of the security personnel.

Dozens of demonstrators and police were injured during the clashes. As three ministers were also found guilty in the incident, those MPs are facing controversies in the parliamentary committee and social media with public protesting and demanding their resignation. Home Minister Narayankaji Shrestha, Labor Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari and Physical and Infrastructure Minister Prakash Jwala have been demanded to resign.


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