KATHMANDU, Feb 25: Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has claimed that his first year in office was successful in busting the transport syndicate and an organized racket of gold smugglers. The 'victory' over cartels and mafia is the major highlight of an annual progress report released by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) on Monday.
Thapa's claims come at a time when his ministry is still struggling to tell the whereabouts of 33 kg gold busted from Tribhuvan International Airport last year, while the transportation cartels appear thriving across the country.
Other major achievements listed in the report include the successful investigation of 95 percent of complaints related to cases of violence against women. But the report has downplayed the ministry's stark failure in bringing out truth surrounding death of Nirmala Panta.
The report has highlighted ten works as major achievements of Thapa including legalization of 21 laws and withdrawal of security personnel from VIPs. Other notable achievements include works in areas of disaster management and rehabilitation of those affected by disasters and performance evaluation of MoHA staff including chief district officers.
Thapa claimed that his first year in office had proved successful in creating atmosphere in safeguarding lives, prosperity and freedom of people so as to achieve the goal of 'Happy Nepali, Prosperous Nepal'.
Notwithstanding Thapa's claims, the opposition party, rights activists and members of the civil society have been questioning Thapa's sincerity in upholding human rights and rights to dissent. After futile attempts to restrict protesters from using key venues in the capital including the Maitighar Mandala, Thapa in August last year had barred Lenin Bista, a former child soldier, from visiting Thailand to attend a conference on child combatants.
Leaders from within the ruling party have been criticizing Thapa for acting weak against the cartel, mafia and the offshoots of former Maoist rebels who have been resorting to violent means.