Security bodies exploring Islamic State's Nepal connection

Published On: July 5, 2016 02:00 AM NPT By: Deepak Kharel

KATHMANDU, July 5: Nepal, which is said to be at a high risk of becoming a transit point for international terrorists, has been balled over by a terror attack at a restaurant in Bangladesh by Islamic State group that claimed the lives of 20 hostages.

In the wake of the attack, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoFA) on Sunday directed all the security agencies of the capital to step up surveillance on suspicious people and sensitive areas.  

The meeting of Peace and Security Division under the home ministry had directed the law enforcement agencies to increase vigil outside the embassies in Kathmandu and places where there is hustle and bustle of foreigners.

The meeting that was attended by the representatives of Metropolitan Police Commissioner's Office, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Bureau had also decided to collect information on foreigners in Nepal and increase investigation and surveillance in coordination with the security bodies working against terrorism.

Surveillance amplified at TIA

The MoHA also directed the security bodies to increase surveillance at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and at entry points of Kathmandu Valley.

“Discussions were only held over security arrangements in Kathmandu Valley and stepping vigilance over people and places,” a participant of the meeting said preferring anonymity.

According to him, the meeting of Central Security Committee will formulate security strategies keeping the Dhaka Café attack into consideration.

Acting on the home ministry's directives, Metropolitan Police has instructed the police units under its command to implement the order. Likewise, Armed Police Force is also preparing to hold a security briefing.

Additional Inspector General of Nepal Police Pratap Singh Thapa, the chief of Metropolitan Police Commissioner's Office, Ranipokhari, said that police units have been directed to beef up security.

 IS' Nepal connection yet to be found

“Although, there is no presence of terrorist groups in Nepal and there are no proofs of Nepalis being associated with the IS, we can't guarantee that Nepal is safe from the international terrorist group that has spread its wings in different countries,” a senior police official, who is also an expert on international terrorism, told Republica.

According to him, there is a need to keep a high vigilance at embassies, hotels and clubs among other places.

Although Nepal Police have arrested members of Indian terrorist groups time and again, the law enforcement agency has failed to find out direct connection of any Nepalis in terrorist groups.

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