Walk the Talk, Mr Home Minister!

Published On: December 31, 2022 08:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

The quick political rise of former celebrity TV journalist Rabi Lamichhane is, no doubt, one of the biggest surprises in Nepali politics in recent times. Within six months of forming a political party, Lamichhane has been successful in becoming the country’s deputy prime minister and home minister. The rise of Lamichhane, who is quite new to Nepali politics, to the all-important post of home minister at once, has created quite a buzz in the home ministry and police organizations. As an active journalist, Lamichhane was specially known for raising his voice against corruption and anomalies. Today he finds himself in a position which allows him to eliminate that to a great extent. And going by what he has done in the last four days of his appointment, he seems to have made the kind of start he was expected of although his critics have said that his actions could just be publicity stunts. Just a day after Lamichhane became the home minister, the Ministry of Home Affairs directed the Nepal Police and Armed Police Force to withdraw the security personnel provided to present and retired high-ranking officials against the rules. On the very second day of taking charge of the home ministry, Lamichhane summoned the home secretary and other high officials and directed them to make sure that the security personnel deployed for the security of various people in unauthorized manners be withdrawn.

Now, the new home minister needs to make sure that this directive of his gets fully implemented. If this directive is not implemented, that would embolden his critics’ voice that all this was aimed just at cheap publicity. Also if this decision is not implemented, Lamichhane and his party – Rastriya Swatantra Party – will be no different from the other politicians and parties in the eyes of the general public. However, this is not the first time that this issue of unauthorized security being provided to the so-called VIPs and VVIPs has come to the surface. In fact, this ill-tradition of the abject misuse of security personnel does get reported in the media from time to time. Yet, it has found continuity. The situation is such that neither Nepal Police nor the APF have provided the ministry the details of as to how many security personnel are being misused in this way. It seems the high-ranking officials of the two police organizations have been themselves deciding the number of security personnel according to their own discretion, keeping the home ministry in the dark. This is terribly wrong.

It seems, however, that Nepal Police has provided the details of the police personnel mobilized for VIP security as per the rules. Last time Nepal Police had sent the details of only 633 police personnel mobilized for the security of VIPs. According to Nepal Police Headquarters, these security personnel have been provided to the VIPs as per the rules and cannot be withdrawn. The police headquarters has even claimed that no police personnel have been mobilized against the rules and regulations. The thing is several high-ranking officials order the deployment of police personnel for the security of politicians verbally and no records of such deployment are kept anywhere. Some high-ranking police officers make such mistakes deliberately so as to seek favors from politicians. The home ministry needs to take action against such police officers. It is estimated that the Nepal Police and the APF together have illegally deployed some 500 security personnel – about 400 from Nepal Police and about 100 from the APF - for the security of politicians and businessmen. Therefore, the directive of Home Minister Lamichhane must be implemented and all these security personnel deployed in unauthorized manners must be withdrawn. Home Minister Lamichhane must walk the talk.    

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