Thin security presence spawns worry in Dang during polls

Published On: June 27, 2017 01:10 AM NPT By: Devendra Basnet

DANG, June 27: As just a few security personnel have been deployed on the southern border in Dang, the local administration  is likely to face a security threat during the local election.

All 26 border points with India in Dang are carrying on as normal. The local administration has established a security unit only at  Koyalabas, a major border-crossing point in the district. The other border points  remain highly vulnerable.There are only a few security personnel from the Armed Police Force (APF) in Dang. 

“We have established a single unit at Koyalabas  so far and could not  expand to other points,” SP Mahendra Bikram Thapa, who heads the Lamahi-based APF office, told Republica.

Thapa informed that they don't have enough security personnel to deploy at each border point. “The main reason behind lack of enough security at border points is shortage of manpower, although the government policy is to deploy security personnel at border points,” he said.

According to Thapa, the Lamahi  APF office has a total of 150  personnel under it. “Just 21 personnel remain at Koyalbas border point.  Others are deployed at other border points,” he informed. The Indian government has established their security units at 10 various border points.

Thapa said  the geographical challenges along the border have also made it hard to deploy  security personnel. “We face a lack of security forces and some border points are in remote areas. So, it is difficulty to deploy the security units,” he further said.

The Nepal Police  deployed some personnel at the border points after the APF could not field enough manpower for the purpose. Nepal Police has deployed 10 personnel at each of five border points out of the 26 in the district, for election security.

According to Dang District Police Office, Nepal Police has opened offices at Koyalbas, Dagmara, Bhaisahi, Siriya and Khabari so far.

“We  deployed  personnel after the country sealed off the border for the election,” said  SP Dhiraj Pratap Singh, chief of district police. “We could face security threats during the election and that's the reason behind our security deployment in the sensitive areas.”
The local administration claimed that bearing in mind the security threat during polling, they have been deploying security personnel in sensitive areas. Chief District Officer (CDO) Meghnath Kafle informed that they have deployed additional forces, depending on sensitivity. 

“Nepal Police and APF personnel have started security patrols on the Nepal-India border,” said Kafle, who is also coordinator of the district security committee. “Nepal-India border points have been sealed from Monday for the elections.”

According to the CDO, emergency vehicles like ambulances are allowed to pass through the border points. He said the Indian side has also deployed security personnel in their areas.

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