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Human rights watchdog objects to Nepal Police’s attempt to enter its premises in Nepalgunj

  • National Human Rights Commission terms the action an attack on its independence and autonomy
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Apr 22, 2019-

Some two weeks after the government decided to endorse an amendment bill to revise the existing act of the National Human Rights Commission, an act that undermines the institution’s authority, a squad of the Nepal Police tried to forcibly enter its regional office in Nepalgunj.

The police were intending to nab a cadre of Netra Bikram Chand-led Nepal Communist Party, Dan Bahadur Fadera, who was released by Banke District Court. The commission’s regional office had given refuge to Fadera after he was released by the court on a general date, following suspicion that the police wanted to arrest him yet again.

He was charged of masterminding a bomb blast, but was later released due to a lack of evidence. The commission said the police team, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Ramesh Bahadur Singh, threatened their guard and demanded they be let inside the premises to arrest Fadera.

The police were barred from stepping into the commission’s premises, but the office is still being gheraoed to nab the NCP cadre.

This is just another instance of how the government has been staging one attack after the other on the National Human Rights Commission, undermining its constitutional independence and autonomy.

“This is a direct interference in the constitutional independence, autonomy and dignity of the commission,” reads the statement by the commission.

The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Nepal Police to investigate the incident and take necessary action against Singh. It also has directed the IGP to make sure such incidents are not repeated in the future. Additionally, it has asked Chief Administrative Officer in Banke to handover Fadera to his family safely. The national human rights watchdog also has written to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Nepal Police and the District Administration Office Banke seeking their response on the issue.

“The commission draws serious attention of the Nepal government and Nepal Police to ensure rule of law by respecting the decisions from judiciary,” the statement further said.

Govind Sharma Poudyal, a member of the commission, said police force restrained from threatening commission even during the insurgency. There are multiple cases where the constitutional watchdog protected then Maoist leaders from attempts of police to rearrest them even after getting release order from the judiciary.

“This is saddening that the government is taking one after another step to blatantly attack the commission,” he said. “Attack on the commission is a direct attack on democracy.” The commission has already asked the government to withdraw the amendment bill it is planning to table in Parliament that commences on April 29.

The Bill to Amend the National Human Rights Commission Act-2012 makes it mandatory for the commission to recommend cases against human rights violators—individuals or institutions—to the attorney general.

Published: 23-04-2019 06:30

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