KATHMANDU, Nov 9: A section of politicians belonging to the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and a vested group within the Armed Police Force (APF) are lobbying to create a new post of additional inspector general in the APF.
Currently, there are three AIGs in the APF.
The fresh lobbying to create a post of AIG comes as previous attempts by the APF leadership were turned down by Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai.
Multiple sources confirmed that the lobbying to increase the post of AIG is aimed at promoting DIG Suraj Kumar Shrestha, who is considered to be a close confidant of IGP Shailendra Khanal.
DIG Shrestha, who had actively supported IGP Khanal for his promotion as the organization's chief, is retiring on January 2, 2020 on the basis of the service-term limit.
Earlier, DIG Shrestha had chosen to skip his promotion despite being one of the senior DIGs, in the hope that he could exert political influence to get promoted to AIG and eventually become the chief of the organization.APF is a 37,000-strong force. As per the new restructuring of the organization, there will be only two AIGs and the third position will be automatically scrapped along with the retirement of the incumbent.
Pushpa Ram KC, Ram Sharan Poudel and Narayan Babu Thapa are currently serving as AIGs. Of them, Thapa is retiring on January 15 on the ground of 30-year service limit, while two others will retire after about a year and a half.
An intense lobbying is reportedly underway within the organization to either convince one of the AIGs to take early retirement or create a new post so as to promote DIG Shrestha to the post.
Various lawmakers including Niru Pal and Mahesh Basnet, who are considered close to Prime Minister KP Oli, are lobbying to create a new AIG position, according to informed sources.
Currently, Nepal Police with a total strength of 67,693 personnel has four AIGs.
The new decision of organizational restructuring made by the Home Ministry has proposed having only two AIGs in the APF.
Former APF AIG Rabi Raj Thapa said the ongoing lobbying to serve a petty personal interest was unfortunate. "These types of activities of a few people in the service is not only eroding the image of the organization but also weakening it,” he said.
Former AIG Thapa also questioned the rationale of creating a new AIG position just to award promotion to an officer. “How can you justify such a move? What good can you expect when the organization chief himself becomes part of such unscrupulous exercise?” asked Thapa.